When I refer to people in this post, I mean:
- Partners (bed)
- Partner (business)
- Partners (bed and business – this is probably wrong, wrong, wrong)
- Employers, etc
You need to get the right people around you because your environment matters. It’s hard to fly like an eagle when you’re surrounded by turkeys.
Here’s how to spot fellow eagles or those with eagle potential…
- They value you. And what you do. They don’t belittle you and pretend you provide mere commodities when you don’t.
- They understand what it is they get from you. Conversely, in my experience, you could give some people the elixir of life and they’d complain about the packaging.
- They understand you are not their Mother.
- Or their Daddy.
- They give as well as take.
- They don’t look down on you or (worse for them) up to you.
- They understand the relationship is symbiotic and supplier/buyer or its many interpersonal variants is not code for slave/master.
- They get win-win. They know that there is a “bigger pie.”
- They don’t make you chase them.
- They see their power as a power to help you and themselves, not simply an ability to frustrate you.
- They are generous (like proper people really are most of the time.)
Although I am a big fan of captaining your own ship (and you must must must be the captain of your own ship), the fact is that your environment plays a role. It helps you or it hinders you.
The tide can be with you or against you. And in fact at the extremes of the environment, super privileged vs super disadvantaged, your tide will almost certainly define you unless you are superspecial.
But for most of us not so cursed, there is no point in trying to realise your potential when you are a middle manager in CrapCo, with a degenerate sociopath for a boss.
By the way, CrapCo, just like its antimatter chum FabCo, can be big or small, private or public sector, old or new.
It’s about the culture.
Your people environment is critical.
Don’t pollute your environment…
So, who’s the carbon dioxide in your bubble?
Well…here we have the usual suspects:
- The negative people.
- The aggressive people (the majority of whom will never punch anything ever – they are the passive aggressives.)
- The people who settle, “yeah it’s OK” – too soon.
- Those who externalise – “butbutbutbutbutbutbut it’s not my fault…”
- The pessimists…
- The chimps: “aarrgghh…” Hyper emotional, zero-sum thinking… “For me to win, someone must lose.” And worse…“I you’re winning, I must be losing.” Survival is their game, “we live in a jungle with no rules.”
- The robots (“I have no control…and neither do you.”)
What you get will always be determined primarily by what you do. But give yourself a break: stop swimming against the tide.
Take care of your people environment. The turkeys don’t vote for Christmas but Christmas still happens. Be an eagle.