Isn’t that the million-dollar question? What makes us successful? How do WE feel that we have gotten there?
Just the other day I got an email from someone I met over 15 years ago when he worked at one of the top cellular operators in the world, where he had quite a high position until just a few weeks ago. Throughout the years I tried to get him to help me get some work from that company, maybe hoping that the fact that we were originally from the same country or that he knew of the solid reputation of our company back home would be a motivator, but he really never was that supportive or went the extra mile. He was very busy and had other priorities. I understand. We all been there.
So, when I got his email sharing with me that after spending all those years at this particular company he was out and wanted to see if he could send me his resume in case I knew of any opportunities that could be a good fit for him, I said to myself…hmmm..interesting. As I was updating his contact info, I noticed that while I had his work email and work phone on record, throughout the years he had never shared his personal email or his cell phone. Until now. Now of course it is important to HIM that you can reach him at any time. Before it might have been important to you, but not to him.
Unfortunately, we are letting our titles and the company logo in our business card define who we are, and that means that we are often showing up in the world in a self-serving way.
Unfortunately, our Humanity is getting lost in the process. People forget to put themselves in the other’s shoes.
Those that know me, know that I will still try to help anyway, although I have to admit that doing it for someone that never cared to do it for you, takes tapping into being your better “self”. At the end is about who I AM, and how I measure my own success. I can totally see that the more successful you are, the higher you are on the corporate ladder, the more people want something from you, and it can become overwhelming. Unfortunately, our Humanity is getting lost in the process. People forget to put themselves in the other’s shoes. Empathy is really almost non-existent. And yet, is not surprising to see that some of the most successful leaders in the world are actually quite available to others.
Seth Godin and Tami Simon both said yes to being on my podcast without knowing me and as a result of an email I sent them. They both could have ignored it but both said that they could sense something authentic about the way I asked them, and said yes instead. Others have said no, but in such a dignified way that it was inspiring anyway. So, sorry, but I don’t buy the “I’m too busy excuse’ that many of us provide when we don’t move a finger to help others. You don’t do it because you don’t want to. Just own up to it. That’s also ok.
To me, success is being the same person and acting the same way, no matter what business card I have. Recognizing that today I might be in a position of power and tomorrow I might not. Helping others not only because I will get something out of it, but especially because I won’t. To me being successful is about having impact and passion in everything I do, and yes, taking care of all aspects of ME. Family, health (physical and mental), spending time with friends, etc how much I get to do of that is part of how I measure my success. Having a well-balanced life and the flexibility to do the things I want to do.
There’s only one life, and the stakes of getting it “right” are just too high to be left to chance. So, I think it is worth looking into when was the last time you gave some deep thought to the way you are measuring your own success?