The everyone test

Whose side are you on?  When you think about your colleagues, your supervisors, the people who work for you, whom do you want to see succeed?

“I want everyone to succeed.”

OK good.

But is that “everyone, as long as I succeed the most” or “everyone?”  Because those are two very different answers.

So take the everyone test, by asking yourself: how would I act if I cared just as much about our organization’s success as I do now…but you suddenly disappeared, couldn’t get any credit at all, had no personal stake in an outcome, and really, truly, only wanted everyone around you to succeed?

  • How much more coaching would you do?
  • How much more constructive would you be?
  • How much more honest would you be?
  • How much more time would you take to teach?
  • How much more credit would you share?
  • How much more time and energy would you spend observing people’s strengths, rather than quietly noting their weaknesses?
  • How would you better amplify these strengths with your own feedback and actions?

If your answer to all of these question is “none,” then I applaud you.

I for one know that I have room for growth here, that I’m always working to find the balance between a ruthless aspiration for the best outcomes with a deep-seated belief that it takes a diverse set of talents to get there.

Unless you’re a writer, a tennis player or a virtuoso musician, one of the most important skills is to raise others up, to help them be their best selves.  Having those around you shine brightly is often a better marker of success than what you, personally, are able to achieve.

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