Over my many years working for a large company, the one thing that I have learned above all else is the importance of managing your reputation. Now, by saying this, I do not mean that you need to become everyone’s friend – far from it. The importance of having a wide range of friends is completely secondary to the power of having all those around you know two things for certain: 1) That you are good at what you do, and 2) That you may not always be easy, but you will always treat people with respect.
Too often I have seen people that choose to follow only one of the above. When this happens, as expected, careers take very different paths.
- The first person, who always treats people with respect but is not good at what they do, will probably have many friends within the company; but, will not be invited onto the large important projects. People may like them, but it doesn’t mean that they want to stake their bonus on the performance.
- The second person is on who is great at what they do but they do not show those people around them proper respect. In this case, the person may seem to do very well at first, but over time, they will notice that things don’t come as easily from their colleagues as it does for others. Asking for favors falls on def ears and support needs to be requested rather than offered.
I’ve seen both of these in action and while it doesn’t sum up the entire working population – getting them both right will help move your career or business forward.
For those of you wondering how to fix the problem (should you be described above) here is my answer: if you’re the strong person who doesn’t respect those around you – ask for feedback from your superiors or find a good middle-person to help you with your interaction. If you’re the second example with great respect but no skills – quit your job and find something you love. You’ll never succeed in the long term at something you hate!