We are often faced with people who we think are not good enough, or deserving of the promotion or success they get. We start comparing ourselves with them. And, even after thinking things a million times in our head we fail to connect the dots, and frankly, find no one more deserving than us.
Then again, we all have, at some point or the other, labelled people as technically strong, who really work hard, day-in day-out and have gained the expertise to move to next level. The next in line are people, known as opportunists, who work hard just before the promotion cycle or any opportunity coming their way. Then there are people marked with deceptive skills, also known as cunning, who know the art of getting things done from others rather than doing it themselves. At a similar level, there are some who are rather ingenious and take all the credit for work done by others. Last but not the least, are the sycophants or the yes-boss types who surround their superiors all the time and cloud their judgement.
Amid this mentation and labelling, we never see beyond the walls of our minds which are painted with biased opinions and, to some level, jealousy. Isn’t it obvious… that despite having no technical capability or any other skills, which we thought the person (who was promoted) lacked, he/she did something which we were oblivious to?
As Pat Riley once said, “Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.”
And preparation in this case means doing that one bit, which stands you out from the crowd. Imagine a case where a person gets three things (perhaps a shirt) from a shop for you. The first one gives it to you as-is, just in the bag in which he got from the shop. The second one wraps it in a paper, but you could feel or guess what could be inside. The third one, puts the gift in a box and wraps it nicely with gift wrapping sheet. Honestly, out of these scenarios you would be most interested or curious about the third gift, I’m hoping. In the first two cases, you somehow know what you might be getting. However, in the last case you are intrigued and impressed by the looks of it.
Think of you as a commodity and your skills as features of that commodity. The more sellable or presentable you are, the better chances you have of growth. Everyone, who has been promoted, has either got it because they were good at what they did, or they made others believe they were good at what they did. It’s how things are presented! As I would like to say, it’s not the trade (you are in), it’s the trademark (you have).
Now, I’m most certainly not suggesting that you stop working, but start honing the additional skills, often known as soft skills. Going by the Pareto principle, one could argue that the people (who were promoted) did 20% of actual work and 80% of the time was spent in promoting or elaborating the importance or the amount of the work they did.
Conversely, for every 80% of work one does, he/she should spend 20% marketing about it. This means your work should be made visible to important stakeholders. A few motivation speakers would suggest that you take up any work which involves 20% application and 80% learning. Putting it in numbers would actually be subjective!
“I determine to render more and better service, each day, than I am being paid to render. Those that reach the top are the ones who are not content with doing only what is required of them.” ~ Og Mandino
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