Screwing people over

POINTILLISMS - Mike Acebedo Lopez (Banat) - December 14, 2014 - 12:00am

More specifically, screwing people over on your way to the top. This is what this column is all about.

I've worked in various sectors the past ten years-government or politics, the corporate world, the media-and in every sphere I managed to navigate, I would always come across extremely ambitious people who clawed their way to the very top, wittingly stepping on other people's toes while at it.

I never quite understood this behavior. Sure, I get what ambition is, how important 'dreaming big' is, how motivation and sense of purpose are not only for the individual, but are values ought to be imbibed by young people everywhere, so we may collectively move past the spirit of mediocrity that haunts us, becoming so pervasive across the board. And I've been advocating for the pursuit of excellence and aiming high every chance I get to speak to people, especially the youth.

But when blind ambition drives people to poison their superiors' minds, when they spread gossip aimed at discrediting others in the organization they see as competition, when they start throwing friends under the bus to get ahead, this evil I cannot ever fathom.

If you read my bio, I guess you'd come to conclude that I am ambitious. I guess you could say that. As a child, I set goals for myself, I've made a commitment to fulfilling my dreams (many which I've been blessed to realize at an early age). I'm also quite the OC perfectionist. But what I can assure you is, through all my life's experiences, I've never undermined or usurped anyone in my quest for success. 

There are times, especially in government, when you're supposed to help correct inaction, worse, corruption and abuse. And such is not only a moral obligation, but a legal one as well. That, I have done. I've also encountered opposition from parties that felt disenfranchised when making a difficult decision for the great good. But those are different stories.

I wonder what kind of leader this particular kind of person makes. I mean, if relationships and people don't matter to you, if you willingly screw them over because you are single-minded in your obsession for power and control, how can you be an asset to your organization? You are poison, that's what you are. The most effective leaders are those who lead by example, it's often said. And it is true. It's the leaders who are able to motivate, inspire, and bring out the best in their subordinates that receive not just respect, but results.

It is a reality that exists in practically all organizations. Politics is everywhere, even in the supposedly most apolitical of establishments. However, and call me idealistic because while I have come to acknowledge that it is a certainty (as long as there are humans, there exists greed and evil), and while I've learned not to impose my personal perspective of things onto others, I still cannot and will not accept this kind of behavior from friends.

And if you think screwing people over to gain control, mounting a coup to usurp power, if you think this route is the best way to succeed, think again. The Machiavellian among us, despite successfully wresting control and are finally in a position of power or leadership, they are the ones who would for always remain insecure of their place. They become paranoid, believing the post they occupy to be susceptible to the same machinations they employed in their climb, vulnerable to the same greed they have in their hearts.

So they spend most of their days plotting, conspiring against threats to their position, whether real or imagined, or quelling intrigue against them and sowing intrigue against others. It is not at all an enviable position.

In my life's journey I have been screwed over many times. But I refuse to play that game. After all, at the end of the day, it's your family and friends, people who matter. What use is a title or a rank if you're unable to nurture and maintain real relationships? Suffice it to say, the moment you start screwing people over, you're screwed. Screw you!


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