Don’t be a jerk
Have you ever known someone who seemed to be working hard and doing the right things but not getting very far? Someone you thought could use a family or other network that loved them and believed in them, that helped them over the rough patches, and picked them up when they fell?
I knew someone just like this in university – we completed our degrees together and then drifted apart. I found out later that things went very badly for him and I wished I could have done more to be there for him. He did not have a supportive family like I did, nor did he have the ability I had to ask others for help when I needed it. Other than that, I did not see much difference in our work ethic or abilities. I was just luckier.
Have you ever thought how unfair it is for a child to grow up with little education, no role models, and thus no opportunity to “make it” like other children in our society?
My point is that life is not fair and when we “get ahead” we need to keep in mind how lucky we are and never forget those who got us there and the lottery we won that gave us the leg up.
Sometimes when a company, athlete, or performer finally “makes it big” they are accused of “letting it all go to their head”. The scrappy little company now a household name doing evil things just to make more money, or the hard-working, down-to-earth singer everyone was rooting for who now walks past her fans with her nose held high.
When we tend towards seeing the success we have achieved, the family we belong to, the possessions we have, and the people we know as somehow setting us apart from everyone else, we are going down the road of arrogance. We start closing ourselves off to others and the realities they face, convinced that we are better, and they have made their own reality as we have ours.
We have all seen this play out in the people around us and I would suggest that we have seen this in ourselves just a little bit from time to time. The thing we need to do is remember that even though it is our hard work that gets us somewhere, the support of others who believe in what we are doing along with some good luck played a role, too. We need to remain humble, approachable, and, above all, grateful if we want to avoid the lonely fate that awaits those who forget those what “got them there”.
At The Inclusion System, our fourth core value is “Don’t be a jerk”. This is about being grateful: for our customers who believe in our vision; for our community that treats us so warmly; for our partners and vendors; and for our teammates who help us each day. This value is also about remaining humble as we grow and as our influence expands, using our success as a company and as individuals for good and not allowing arrogance to take hold. To live this value, we always try to remember that, in large part, our success comes from a lot of support from others and a little bit of luck – not just our own amazing incredible greatness – oops 🙂
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