Me! Me! Me!

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Firms are fighting for the same customer thereby giving the customer the upper hand.  Each company focuses on catering to the needs of their customers to a point that they provide customized services around the needs of their customers.   Take for example, McDonald’s has it your way, in which you can choose what you want, including super sizing it.  Isn’t it great that the company wants to meet my needs and customize their services to match them?  That’s awesome!   It creates a society focusing too much on individual needs, which results in people thinking that is it is all about me.

The ME-focused society has created a challenge in which people tend to want to do things for the sake of getting the credit.   The need to be rewarded every single time is not realistic, because it creates a shift in focus from team to individual.   Who has not worked with someone who wants to be front and center and take call the credit?   They might have worked alongside everyone, but when it is time to get the credit they are in front of everyone.   Right, wrong, or indifferent, most projects are a team sport.  You need a group of people to work together to get the job done. Therefore when providing recognition, you focus on the team first.

How do we make sure the team gets the credit?

  • Highlight the delivery and what value it brings either to the organization or clients.
  • List all the names of all people who participated in the project.
  • Specify any special process or innovation that we put in place to make the solution better
  • Last but not least, unless someone has done a special job, stay focused on the team effort and commitment

At work, celebrate your people’s uniqueness, but focus on the over-arching goal and how the team accomplished such goal.   State the collective wisdom that helped accomplish the goal.   Highlight innovation and game-changing decisions that help differentiate your company.  Individuality is great, but in a team sport of having many people working on your project, you need to make sure the team feels recognized and appreciated.

“ME” and “WE”

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The age of Internet advancement brought about the expectation of having everything you want on the same day or, at the latest, next day.   This is coupled with marketing campaigns by companies that focus on you being at the center of their attention.   This creates the “ME” syndrome.

The “ME” focus does not become an issue until the new generation reaches the workforce, or what I called the real world.   In the real world, we work on projects that require us to collaborate to get things done. At this point the focus shifts from “ME” to “WE”.  They often struggle to understand that the need to address the need of the collective “WE” is at times more important that their personal desire.

As a parent it is important to strike a balance in teaching our children that the world doesn’t revolve around them.   Letting them know that they cannot have everything they want is equally important.   Sometimes people think that experiencing rejection is not a good thing. I’m of the opinion that giving our children a false sense of getting everything they want would be a disservice to them. The reality in life is that you don’t always get what you want. In fact, you might not get what you want at all. In that case how will your children cope with that situation when they face it in real world? It is better to get them ready than that they be naïve and believe that the world is their oyster.

It is important that we assist our children in understanding the expectation of things to come.   Doing so will prepare them for what to expect when they step into the real world.   Team play is key to their success.   By learning that early on they will increase their chance to succeed.