Could I be the problem?
Sport makes for such wonderful metaphors at times. The Carolina Panthers lose (which I was completely wrong about) is an excellent example. A group who all year have been extolling having fun together as a team in the end fall victim to individuality. The sum of Carolina during the Super Bowl was not greater than its parts. Contrast that story with the one from the night before. At the NFL Awards we were told the stories of the three finalists for the Walter Peyton Award. Each in his own right was worthy recipient and Anquan Boldin as winner exemplified what the spirit of the award was in his humble acceptance.
He was not the most important person in the room. Everyone came ahead of him in his world view. He was given his gifts to be of service. He grew up in a home knowing that this was the truth, the way to joy and happiness but for a time he focused on getting to the NFL and himself. He spoke then of a moment of clarity when he understood that his purpose in life was not to play in the NFL but to help people in need. And winning the award is testament to efforts he has gone to implement this paradigm shift in thinking.
Business is no different. I experience the rewards of powerlessness as failures. Whether I see them as the immediate failures they are or just when they culminate into the BIG failure my problem is not that I have failed. The challenge is that as a team of one instead of growing from the challenge I learn in the future to avoid because my power cannot bring about change.
I am selfish in my daily business life. My needs always come first. Win this deal, get promoted, pay the bills and if that means sidestepping rules or friendships, then that the price. If it benefits me then its worth it. Take time to help you, don't you know I have an important meeting? Miss lunch? A round of golf with a client is for me, not the client. Now I can spin it as such but I know truth. And when I have a round of golf on the company, my colleagues sure know it! Being the most important person in the room, you not only must know this but tacitly acknowledge this.
If I don't see an angle for me, I don't do it. I am spiteful because others I work with seem to be working a cross purpose to my needs. Sometimes they are downright against me. So I plot, who do I win that deal? How do I get him fired? How do I come out on top? And I talk to my colleagues about my colleagues. Usually not in a flattering way but to further my conspiracies. I compromise more and more to make myself the important one. I cannot see that my actions against you eventual return as actions against me.
Now here is the greatest part, I have set very action that is a wrong against me in motion by some previous foul I have committed in the past. How is that the great part? If I set them in motion, then all I have to do to have a better life is not do that? But how? I no more can get out of my own way than fly.
Maybe I'll just be nice to people. That the ticket. If I'm nice then they'll be nice right back. And my problem will be solved. If everyone treats me with the deference and respect I so truly deserve all will be well! I will figure out how to make you do that! I AM the smartest person I know, this will be easy. But it doesn't. I'm seen as petty and manipulative. So I strike out again, I'll show you. That big deal will come in and you'll see how important I am and bow at my greatness!
I tell myself and my peers that I do this for family. To make them a better life, keep them safe. And yet when they ask for my time, I have none for them and resent that they can't understand I need to be at work. It's so stressful here. I'm doing this for you. Yes I know your homework is important but mommy can help can't she? Yes dear, it is Saturday but this presentation is very critical to so many things at work. And I have a golf game tomorrow. Can't you go by yourself?
I try harder and harder to play the role successful businessman but I am constantly spiralling toward the abyss. Not only don't I have the brakes to stop this out of control train wreck. I don't even know we are speeding!
I have to fix this, but how?