Some of you may know that I work in software sales. I enjoy the work along with the highs and lows that come with it. Something else that comes with the territory is money.
I have found money brings out the truth in people. When you have enough money where the opinion of others is not important, the true colors shine. Sometimes the result is great, other times not so much.
I had an opportunity this week to spend some time with some successful sales people who are climbing the mountain of corporate success and doing well. I was able to observe the behavior of a few different folks and see their true colors.
In one case there was a guy who has risen up the ranks and I was actually looking to him as an example of what to do. I was utterly disappointed. His main drive was money, sure that’s fine, but there was nothing more. In fact, I am unclear of what he cared about other than that. His only other hobby appeared to be drinking. I don’t mean that to sound negative; he is a connoisseur of fine wines and spirits.
I met another guy who grew on me. I met him three days ago and my first interaction was him asking me for a favor. During that moment though he was honest with why he needed it; I was in a position to help and it got him out of a jam.
As we spoke through the next few days I realized this guy had substance. He was rising up, but not there yet. He was humble, truthful and eager to learn. In addition, he handled the first guy I mentioned with grace. In this case the first guy was this person’s boss.
Throughout this journey I asked myself, “when is enough enough?” The first guy just wanted more and more money. The second writes screenplays, enjoys hiking and tries to give back.
In both cases you can never have enough. There is not enough money, but also not enough hikes, to find fulfillment.
Perhaps there is never enough.
Perhaps all that matters is what you are filling up that hole with.
Have you ever wondered what the perfect attitude is? Not just a top dog or the person out front, but for any entrepreneur who aspires to succeed and, for that matter, every person who lives and breathes.
I recognize it when I see it, know when I’m doing it, and can explain it when I’m coaching, but I’ve never seen it so perfectly boiled down to ten short words—all self-explanatory, nothing to look-up or study or requiring training.
I found those words in a friend’s description of how his daughter lives.
Like 3 year olds, be passionate, humble, impatient, grateful…daily.
Do it and change your life—and your world—guaranteed!
A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read allIf the Shoe Fits posts here.
I get so tired of people being labeled “self-made,” whether by the media, their circle or themselves.
There is no such thing.
I can hear your thoughts across the miles. “Who is she to say there’s no such thing as self-made. Just because she didn’t do it doesn’t mean I can’t.”
I agree, I’m nobody, but Arnold Schwarzenegger is a well-known somebody and he says the same thing.
I always tell people that you can call me anything that you want. You can call me Arnold. You can call me Schwarzenegger. You can call me ‘the Austrian Oak.’ You can call me Schwarzy. You can call me Arnie. But don’t ever, ever call me the self‑made man.
It took a lot of help. None of us can make it alone. None of us. (…) And I have to say that it is important to acknowledge that, because people make it always sound that you did all this yourself.
I didn’t. I did it with a lot of help.
Yes, I was determined. Yes, I never listened to the naysayers. Yes, I had a great vision. Yes, I had the fire in the belly and all of those things, but I didn’t do it without the help.
Here’s the full video in case you think I made it up.
Now stand in front of the mirror and say three times, “I am not self-made.” Repeat twice daily until you believe it.
Many of the actions of people such as Travis Kalanick, Donald Trump, Parker Conrad, etc., are deplored, yet they seem to have no effect on people’s opinions.
They go their merry way while thousands of far superior leaders are ignored.
When the subject does come up the usual response involves the infamous “yes, but…”
Why is that?
I finally found an answer that makes sense from Margarita Mayo, a Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IE Business School in Madrid.
Mayo terms the first type of leader ‘humble’ and the second ‘charismatic’.
Humble leaders improve the performance of a company in the long run because they create more collaborative environments. They have a balanced view of themselves – both their virtues and shortcomings – and a strong appreciation of others’ strengths and contributions, while being open to new ideas and feedback. (…)
[Charismatic leaders], despite their grandiose view of themselves, low empathy, dominant orientation toward others, and strong sense of entitlement, their charisma proves irresistible. Followers of superheroes are enthralled by their showmanship: through their sheer magnetism, narcissistic leaders transform their environments into a competitive game in which their followers also become more self-centered, giving rise to organizational narcissism, as one study shows.
Mayo’s research and the other’s she cites (with links) provide proof of the value produced by the humble leader vs. their charismatic counterpart.
However, I think there is another problem happening in the background that is word-related.
Ask most people if they want to be remembered as ‘humble’ or ‘charismatic’ and most will choose charismatic.
Warren Buffet aside, ‘humble’ is more often associated with dorky, weak, shy, and unassuming.
Not adjectives most people would choose to describe themselves.
Thanks to Wally Bock for leading me to this article.