[December 22, 2020] Like many who grow up regularly competing in sports, we often experience the thrill of victory and “the agony of defeat.” Competition in the world of sports habitually means competing with our fellow teammates, not just the other team. Fortunately, we quickly learn about sportsmanship and are rarely threatened by the success of others.
But, many people fear others who are succeeding. There is a real fear and more frequent than logic might suggest. A common explanation is that the accomplishments of others might outshine us in some way. I found this a not uncommon trait of mid-level managers in large corporations. Don’t we all feel a bit of a mixture of pride and jealousy when someone else outperforms us?
Jealousy is not a new phenomenon, nor is fear of the success of others. In the Proverbs 27:4 of the Bible, it is written, “Fury is cruel, and anger a flood, but who can withstand jealousy?” This counsel from the Bible testifies to the power these emotions have over us.
We all compare ourselves to others. We do this as a part of our humanness. However, by doing so, we can either push ourselves to more outstanding achievements (for the good of all and us) or waste our time and resources unhealthily competing with our peers. A “keeping up the Joneses” lifestyle is alive and well.
This negative comparison game (us versus them) that drives fear and jealousy can be turned around. Mature leaders are good at seeing these emotions and turning them into something for good.
First good leaders will admit they can be jealous; denying it prevents us from learning to move beyond such feelings.
Second, good leaders look for a more profound message in their fear of the success of others. We should be able to trust ourselves and use that as inspiration to work harder and think more creatively.
Third, good leaders celebrate the success of others. They know that failure to acknowledge our negative emotions means we will not be dealing correctly with our own feelings of jealousy, insecurity, and inferiority.
We have all witnessed others who would take action to diminish the accomplishments of others. Avoid this practice; it accomplishes nothing. I’ve seen senior military officers treat subordinates with disdain when the subordinate accomplishes something spectacular or does something that takes extraordinary bravery.
Fear is a strong emotion that can inflict harm on us and on others. Don’t let it get to us. Fear no the success of others.
- Leader Don’ts #6: Take all the Credit: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-6-take-all-the-credit/
- Leader Don’ts #5: Ignore their Health: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-5-ignore-their-health/
- Leader Don’ts #4: Move your Foxhole: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-4-move-your-foxhole/
- Leader Don’ts #3: Accept Defeat: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-3-accept-defeat/
- Leader Don’ts #2: be a Liar: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-2-be-a-liar/
- Leader Don’ts #1: be a Jerk: https://www.theleadermaker.com/leader-donts-1-be-a-jerk/