Power hungry world is always leeching to those who are successful. The more successful you are, the higher you climb, the more people around you want to get you down. Why? It’s the only way they can climb up.
That was an advice given to me by one of my mentors when I was promoted to manager at 23 years old. As young as I was, I didn’t follow his wisdom. Oh, don’t get me wrong. I believe in the dog eat dog business world, in fact, I have seen it a thousand times. I have been backstabbed and thrown under the bus before my colleagues that I thought I could trust. I’m usually left torn and devastated, frustration and feeling betrayed often eat the best of me.
But jaded? No. Called me foolish. But I still believe in the goodness of people. I believe that if you treat someone with kindness, you will get kindness in return. That is how I am built.
Oh yes, I did learn from my mistakes. But instead of pondering people’s intention when they are nice to me, I embrace it and I’ll up their kindness with my own. Blame it on my Chinese roots that I don’t want to owe anyone any favors. I build a defensive wall around me and invite those deserving to enter into my safe cocoon. And when they did, they realize that I’m not a hard-hitting, arrogant manager who only wants power and limelight.
In fact, I take my role as a manager very seriously. I lead with relish that I am impacting knowledge to those willing to learn. I gave my all. Almost the same as my personal relationships, when I love, I love hard. Those in my cocoon get nurtured and protected against the harsh cruel corporate world. I fight for their rights. I get emotional when someone outside my circle tries to be conniving with anyone on my team. One of my bosses nicknamed me as the mommy of my team. I became a mommy even before I had my baby.
But I wasn’t overprotective like a mother hen. I let my team members make mistakes so they can too, learn from them. Rather than allowing them to free fall, they know I’m their safety net, always ready to catch them when they fall. And they did fall, many times. I am always ready to defend their decisions and choices to my management. This is something that sets me apart from other managers.
I don’t avoid conflicts and trouble. I don’t find it a hassle when one of my team makes mistakes that I need to step in to rectify the problem. I love it when they dared to make tough and difficult decisions without consulting me. This means they have grown. You see, to me, it is a duty of a manager, a leader to groom everyone on his team to be a star. You polished every nook and cranny, turning a rock into a diamond.
You teach, mentor, groom and hone them to be the best they can within their abilities. You show them the path but allow them to walk through it themselves. You dealt with disappointment, anguish, and frustration as you see them struggling through the concrete jungle. When they fail, you fail with them. When they are promoted or succeed, you rejoice with them.
I’m never afraid that one day, one of them will usurp my position. I’ll be waiting for the day to come. Because they are my masterpieces. Through them, they are my living legacies.
So no, being selfish and trying to survive on your own in the cruel business world doesn’t work for me. In fact, why not group together to survive together? You scratch my back while I watch your back. Any workplace will instantly become better if we only work alongside with each other instead of scrambling over each other’s head trying to reach the top. There’s no glamour or dignity in being conniving in an already cruel business world.
Instead, think of leaving your footprints in the hearts of people you work with rather than on their ‘dead’ bodies.
Do you think it is a jungle out there? How do you think you can help by making lives around the office desks much better? Doesn’t a warm cheerful greeting every morning lift spirits up? Share with us your thoughts in the comments below.
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