The traditional approach to success
We know that in order to be successful, the first thing we must become, is truly brilliant at doing our job. We spend a lot of time putting ourselves through training and higher education, sometimes at the same time as working (I’m always so impressed by this). We work hard in the day, and at night too.. On the job itself, we focus on learning from others, we are committed, we want to find solutions for clients and we learn while working with those clients.
The greater approach to success
However, the second part of success, and something much less talked about, is managing your self. Your emotions and behaviours when working with others. And nobody’s going to teach you how to do this, but this is where the real money is. Because the quality of your future depends on the quality of your relationships, and not just client relationships, but the internal ones. Your colleagues. At some point, even quite early on, all the most important things you will achieve in your career, will happen together with, or partly because of, other people. But I have never seen a course at either a University, or a College, that educates young people on how best to work with others, have you? A course that could answer questions like, how best to work through conflict? Conflict arises in every workplace, no matter the week, month, or year, and yet there is little to no support on it until it’s already too late.
We don’t advise our young people to chose the right employer for their personality profile, even though we all know as adults how important that is, and we don’t advise people to consider environment as a key factor in taking in any job, leading millions of people every year to choose completely the wrong one, and jump ship within the first year, costing economies everywhere millions in retraining.
We are thrust into a world of individual stories and individual wins, but nothing is ever achieved by just one person. Building great culture doesn’t just happen on it’s own, by buying table tennis tables and offering office fruit. Building a great company culture happens slowly, in many small and large conversations, including, in fact, especially, the difficult ones. Speaking the truth and resolving issues while maintaining dialogue. The gritty bits, and the awkward bits, and the being vulnerable. That is the beautiful part, although it’s difficult at the time.
The pot at the end of the rainbow isn’t gold, it’s acceptance, of yourself, and others, and dropping perfection in return for the dream. Have you ever worked with someone who describes themselves as a perfectionist, and enjoyed the experience? Perfection isn’t real, we’re all human, and it’s time to stop thinking about it at all, because perfection isn’t perfect when it comes at the expense of relationships at work. You could win the battle, while losing the war. It’s not worth it.
Successful people are not powerful because of the influence they have over others, they are powerful because of the influence they have over themselves.