Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Helping someone else shine

We're all told to market, promote, network and speak up. Tweet and do Facebook, Google Plus and on and on. I'm all for promotion...having gone through Merrill Lynch's sales training right out of college I truly believe that adage of "don't ask, don't get." But Merrill also told us that the more we talked the more likely we talked ourself out of a sale. There is huge wisdom in learning to shut up. Or ask at the appropriate time. Or accepting a no.

Or realizing that you aren't always the interesting one in the room. Ever notice how the most fascinating people talk little about themselves (let alone broadcast). Sometimes I almost scream at the self promotion on social networks! Stop! Talking! About! You! Always!

What does this have to do with helping someone else shine? None of us succeeds alone. Ever. Unless you're a chess master (and even then, someone taught you chess, played practice games and brings water during the game). When you build up others very often you give them the desire to help you succeed. And you get to watch someone else bask in accomplishment which sometimes feels pretty darn good (the more you like the person the better you'll feel).

But helping others means getting past me. The desire to get all the credit and the glory. The jealousy that can attach when someone gets an outcome we want for ourselves. The praise and admiration directed elsewhere. It's worth it.

Never give away credit for your own work. But if you're going to work with others, as we all must, maybe sometimes just enjoy watching them excel. All of my best bosses and mentors did. You?

Note: when I bore of the lips I'm considering moving on to cowboys.

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