I read a blog ago that talked about how women should be supporting each other, not tearing each other down in the workplace. The blog post talked about “crab mentality”, the metaphor of crabs pulling those that are about to escape a pot. It reminded me of my past experiences when instead of others expressing support for my career/personal accomplishments, there were those who felt resentment and expressed jealousy. I was having a conversation about this topic with a friend of mine and the fact that I never see myself as a competition to anyone. He tells me that while I don’t see myself involved in any competition, the fact that I spend a lot of hours working, getting things done than could be seen as a competition in itself. I can understand that perspective, but I just don’t consciously think about it in that way. I work because I like what I do, I need to take care of my family and I do not have the need to prove myself against anyone. I have seen my father work three or more jobs at the same time consistently throughout my life and he did it with no complaints. I have admired him for his work ethic and I guess I just never saw anyway to progress through life than working long and hard.
I think we live in such a competitive world and of scarce resources that we forget to appreciate the accomplishments of others instead of appreciating. I know I’m guilty of it sometimes but I try to be conscious about not taking on the “crab mentality”. Just like compliments, I don’t think we lose anything by appreciating the accomplishments of others, given that these accomplishments were done in ethical manner.
My work involves building technical systems including web, desktop applications and implementing vendor solutions. I love being able to deliver these systems to our customers. As much as I enjoy this aspect of my job, what I actually enjoy more is being able to help promote the growth and successes of others. As a leader, I measure my success in terms of how I am able to help others I lead grow and promote. There is nothing more satisfying for me than seeing friends and co-workers, especially those I have seen from the beginning of their career, mature and be successful. Last week, one of my colleagues presented a very critical campus system he just completed to a group of directors. I could see how proud he was of the system as streams of compliments came from those in the room. I could not have been prouder watching him throughout his presentation. It was awesome! Three years ago, he joined our organization as a student and seeing him successfully develop a very critical system is amazing.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a world where we don’t view others’ successes as a threat to our own?