Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pay It Forward

I love it when I see those who are farther up the career ladder reach back and extend a hand to help someone else with their climb.

Success is not something that happens in a vacuum. We are all assisted along the way by someone. However it is common in our "Cowboy Society" for people who find high levels of achievement to start believing their own press, and forget about the reality of their own rise to the top. We want to have this image of being "self-made", but few people ever really do it alone.

In the third season of the television show "Mad Men" there is a great quote. Bert (the founder of the ad agency) tells Don (the main character) "that Sacajawea crossed the country with a baby on her back, and somewhere there’s a baby who thinks he discovered the Pacific Ocean". The point being that others helped Don succeed, and it was time he paid them back!

We all come in on others’ shoulders, and we should never forget that.

I have met professionals who understand this, and I have met those who think they discovered oceans by themselves.

I recently had an experience where I was offered assistance by someone in the top 1% of my profession. I was both honored and impressed by his enthusiasm to introduce me to some key people. This offer, and his follow up (with some pointed questions), was a window into his soul, and the view was of a real person who loves others. He wants to be a catalyst for success in the lives of others. While this is the subject that he writes and speaks about, not everyone practices what they preach.

The movie "Pay It Forward" best sums it up: When you help someone, and then they help someone, etc.... the world is a better place for everyone.

How about you? Are there people behind you in their career journey who you could give a boost? Would you do it? Have you done it?

Have A Great Day.


1 comment:

WBS said...

This is a great reminder! We've all had help along the way. Almost all success comes from a hard work, help from others, and just a little luck.