You’re Entitled to Nothing

2 min. read

All those years of hard work.

All the “you can be anything you want” pep talks and racking up the achievements and promotions. Trying to be the best something. The feeling that the world revolves around you.

 Then, the realization

You’re not #1. You’re not the best. You feel like crap.

I know this from experience as one of the many “achievers” out there in this Ladderburner community… those words are extremely hard to process and live with.

But, I’ve got great news for you:

Native intelligence and hard work make you smart. But it’s not enough. You need a different kind of smarts –– one that comes from the heart. Emotional intelligence. Empathy. Connection. Open and available to others. Understanding and appreciating their perspectives.

This different kind of smarts takes approachability and availability to a whole new level –– and makes you a person of influence. A leader. A person with the ability to make things happen.

Your organization needs your leadership. And Lord help us, our nation and the world need more leadership. And that means YOUR leadership. 

Maybe you think you’re in an organization where taking responsibility means taking orders and needing permission is business as usual.

Why stick your neck out? I suppose that’s ok for nuclear power plants. Or to protect yourself from a power-hungry, take-all-the-credit-and-accept-no-blame, dumbass manager.

But taking responsibility for helping others succeed, solving critical problems, volunteering for important projects, challenging the status quo, speaking up, standing up for what you think is fair & just … now THAT’S what I’m talking about. Everyday leadership. Every person’s leadership.

Get out of your head and change the story you’re telling yourself about what’s possible with your leadership. I promise you’ll feel better.

I can’t emphasize it enough: LEADERSHIP IS NOT A POSITION! It’s a mindset supported by the ability to influence others to take decisive and responsible action. Leaders step up and into the murky areas of indecision and inaction. They ask questions. They listen. They empathize. They build relationships. They challenge. They engage. They take action. They give a damn.

Leaders don’t have to be the center of the universe. They are self-empowered, not self-important. People respect them because they are interesting – they enjoy what they do. And they are interested in understanding what makes people tick and how to help them succeed. 

Leaders put people in the center of the universe and just figure the rest out. 

Entitlement sounds like you’re special and others aren’t. You push your way up by pushing other people down. That’s cheap, lame, and just plain stupid. 

• • •

Forget about entitlement. Forget about being #1, the best, the uber achiever. 

Empower yourself to help others succeed.  

Empower them whether you’re their boss or not. 

See how that feels.