Far too many times I see employees look at their path to success in the company and focus solely on how they can make themselves successful. They want to move up the corporate ladder and so they focus on what they can do to achieve that “success” in a company. We all know the stories of people who are so focused on success in their career that they act selfishly and do things that damage others and the company.
This is an extremely unfortunate situation since most people I know that take this path up the corporate ladder aren’t happy and more importantly aren’t respected by their fellow employees. Plus, I know even more people who try this path and then eventually get denied a promotion. This regularly leaves them bitter and angry considering they sacrificed so much to try and move up the corporate ladder and then were denied.
This quote from Albert Einstein puts the desire for success in perspective:
“Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.” – Albert Einstein
It’s worth noting that Albert Einstein didn’t suggest that you shouldn’t be successful. Instead, he just talks about where you put your efforts. His suggestion on becoming someone who provides value to your organization versus trying to become successful is a powerful piece of advice that everyone should consider.
When you focus your career on being someone that’s valued, then you glean all sorts of benefits. Who in their life doesn’t want to be valued? The same is true in a career. Being valued is a prize worth holding onto. Plus, when it’s time to sift the wheat from the chaff at your company, those seeking success are often sent packing while those who provide value remain. Occasionally this isn’t the case, but who do you think is the better candidate in a job search? The person seeking success or the one that’s provided value?
The irony is that if you want to be successful, being someone of value will lead to that success.
I’ve seen this principle over and over in my career. The happiest and most successful people I know are those who strive to provide value to everyone they meet. If you’re not as happy and successful as you’d like to be in your career, focus on becoming a person of value and you’ll be surprised by the results.