9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People? Not Necessarily (Part 1 of 2)
In the June 25th Inc. article by Jeff Haden titled “9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People,” the writer offers what he believes are the core values that distinguish the high achievers from the rest of the world based on an anecdotal reference to his acquaintances.
While it is an interesting read, there are a number of points with which I am not in complete agreement.
To start, with the “time doesn’t fill me. I fill time.” assessment, it is suggested that the person will take the maximum length of time to complete a project even if they could do it sooner. This is easier believed than it is true. Today, people are so overwhelmed as a result of major layoffs and being expected to pick-up the slack for departed co-workers, that they are lucky to get the multitude of assignments done in the requested time frame.
Another absolute with which I would give a deserving pause is “volunteers always win.”
While I understand the principle that is being expressed, I hate the words always and never. Volunteering does get you noticed, appreciated and motivates others to reciprocate. However intent cannot be overlooked. I believe that the “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” giving just to get mindset is wrong. It is when you do something from the heart based on the values of your personal mission statement that ultimately resonates the longest and the loudest.
The mercenary mindset associated with the belief that “as long as I’m paid well, it’s all good,” is another point that I would debate. As with the true volunteer’s mindset, performing a task based on your values can go a long ways towards differentiating your brand in a crowded market. Now I am not suggesting that you put yourself in the position where you will be taken advantage of, as integrity of pay is as important as the integrity of your work. However, with the emergence of the relational collaboration model in which there is an open and transparent dialogue between service provider and client, the focus is on mutual respect and shared gain. In these instances, the “you don’t get what you deserve you get what you negotiate” adversarial interaction is replaced by one of cooperation of purpose and understanding of needs. A when you win, I win scenario. Like any relationship this doesn’t mean that it will always be equal in that you may choose to undertake certain tasks for which you will not seek remuneration. The point is that with an open channel of communication you will be able to adapt to changing needs including financial considerations, as opposed to reducing the relationship to one of dollars and sense.
People who pay me always have the right to tell me what to do. What can I say . . . YOU ARE NOT A DOORMAT!
The suggestion that you must somehow sacrifice your voice, especially if you provide expertise in an area that the client may not have is a valuable part of the relationship. As one senior executive from IBM once told me, “if the two of us agree on everything, then one of us is redundant.”
I am also not a big fan of the suggested pay to dictate undertone associated with “the right to tell me what to do” statement. This isn’t an episode of the Jetsons where Mr. Spacely can seemingly at a whim hire and fire George based on his performance relative to unrealistic assignments.
Yes I do believe that you have to deliberately seek clients with whom their goals and values align with your talents and values. But true success is based on a win-win mutual respect relationship as opposed to a subservient one.
There were of course several points with which I did agree including the assertion that one has “never paid their dues!” I believe that this statement relates to steward leadership and that believing that you have paid your dues is reflective of an attitude of entitlement that destroys peoples brand and reputation.
In the second of this 2-Part post, I will cover these plus points in detail.