Everyone wants to be successful in his or her career, but, unfortunately, far too many professionals go about it the wrong way. It may seem like trying to make it in this dog-eat-dog world requires a person to take out the rest of the pack, however, as it turns out, true success comes from joining forces with other like-minded individuals and conquering together. Think this is a bunch of bologna? Read on to see why triumphing in your career depends on the success of those around you.
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Many of the greatest leaders in the world understand that success is not a solo journey – it is something that takes a collective effort by many, not just the individual alone. Consider an acceptance speech of an award winner, for instance. The recipient will, typically, ramble off an infinite list of people who have attributed to his or her achievements. Why do you think people refer to their group of supporters and mentors as their “tribe”? It takes a village, folks.
Would you be were you are today without the help of others? Probably not. Now think of the many people who have stuck out their necks for you or helped you climb the ladder in your career. Those noble individuals were willing to turn the focus off of themselves for a bit to contribute to someone else’s success, which is why you should do the same for others around you if you would like to be triumphant in your own career.
In his article for Time Magazine, author James Citrin explains that Virgin Atlantic’s Richard Branson gave him these words of advice for professionals, “Be compassionate and praise the people you work with” because the ones who do so “will get on with others and, by extension, get the best results.” This very philosophy is one that Branson stands by and one that he has embedded in his own company culture – and, in case you’re wondering, he is responsible for 200 companies located in more than 30 countries worldwide, so yeah … I’d probably take his advice.
It may seem a tad bit counter-productive to help others succeed in their careers, when you’re struggling to get recognized or move up in the world yourself. However, contributing to the success of others doesn’t mean you’re putting your career on the backburner, by any means.
Citrin points out that helping others is quite simple and non-threatening, and all it takes is “pitching in when colleagues need help and, more broadly, helping to create a working environment of trust and positive energy by making sure communications, mutual respect, and credit for successful endeavors flow freely.” It’s what peers should be doing already, but we’re all so caught up in this rat race that we forget or are afraid to lend a helping hand to our colleagues when needed.
Getting ahead in life doesn’t mean knocking others down, it’s quite the opposite. Young professionals, especially, should take heed and become more altruistic if they wish to become leaders later on in their careers.
“This kind of leadership, not the top-down kind but leadership from within, is subtle but powerful,” says Citrin, and he’s absolutely right. When a team is working together towards achieving a common goal, rather than competing against one another, a balance is created that strengthens the team and enables it to achieve the goal at hand. The bottom line, as Citrin puts it, “Help yourself by helping others and everyone wins.”
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