Hare and tortoise

We all know about the story of hare and tortoise. Yesterday I was thinking about an analogy in the corporate world. Lets say you got recognized for your hard work this past year by upper management. Everyone in the group is admiring you for the achievement. At that point, you can leverage your position of advantage in two opposite ways:

1. Rest on your laurels and keep doing the same tasks. It can lead to either you becoming easy-going at what you have been doing (because suddenly you think you are better than what you were a day ago), and/or it can lead to others catching up on you (and very soon they will..it is just a matter of time in this corporate rat race) and one day you will again become part of the crowd. Your name may get a mention in corporate circles or parties as someone who once got recognized for the hard work. Management will shower favors upon you for some time, but those will eventually stop.

2. Use your position at this point to demand greater responsibility (but not necessarily more work) so that you get another opportunity to prove yourself, and it could even be in a different area of work than what you do at present. This will eventually lead to your own professional growth and will continue enhancing your positive reputation.

It is obvious to consciously choose #2.

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3 Comments

  1. MM said,

    August 3, 2006 at 6:19 pm

    I agree, but you also have to seem modest and not come across as overbearing since that has a bad reputation as well. Seeming too ambitious will soon lead to loss of connections at workplace. We cannot behave as though we deserve better otherwise many other probably also deserving colleagues would feel estranged. So we have to also sense the environment.

    In my opinion if you are good it gets noticed and promotions and responsibilities serve as a lagging indicator. What I mean by that is you always perform at a greater responsibility role consistently before formally being promoted to that role. That way it also would indicate fair play as you have the credibility for the promotion. The people who got recognized today have been living their roles well for the atleast for the past 2 years from what I know.

    Aggressive moves can be dangerous since people are not objective machines but subjective intelligent beings where feelings and liking whether we like it or not do seep greatly into objective decision making processes.

  2. BugLady said,

    August 3, 2006 at 6:27 pm

    You are right, but it can be difficult when you win something because suddenly everyone expects that you are good which can lead to more pressure at work.

  3. August 3, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    @BugLady: You are already good but now everyone knows that. Maintain your level your work and you will be fine.

    @MM: My original idea was only to point out basic approach to recognition by an individual. And you have written an excellent follow-up to that. Thank you.


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