What others say and think about you

BUSINESS MATTERS (BEYOND THE BOTTOM LINE) - Francis J. Kong (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2020 - 12:00am

A young teacher asked me for advice via private messaging on Facebook.

She said, “I am a new teacher, and I am serious with my work, and so I do my best, give my best and strive for excellence as I follow your posts on FB. I notice that this is yielding good results, but on the other hand, I see something happening as well. The other teachers who are ‘not-so-young’ are intentionally showing me that they do not like me. They are also rallying the other young teachers to stay away from me. I do not know what offenses I have done against them, and I feel so down now. Please help.”

Here was my advice to her. When you excel in what you do, the following steps take place:

1. Others who are not excellent would dislike you. You expose their inefficiencies.

2. Others who are outstanding are challenged. They can smell competition, and they may not like you.

3. Others who do not belong to groups 1 & 2 would begin to notice you.

When your work of excellence begins to produce good results, then the following things will happen:

1. Group 1 will try to get close to you and be part of your “wins.” Because everybody loves a winner! Others will still dislike you.

2. Group 2 will hate you even more, and they will intensify their competitiveness. Competition is good. Then the quality of work increases. Everybody now levels up.

3. Group 3 would begin to admire you and watch you even more. Now there is no more doubt. All the gossips, intrigues and innuendos are immaterial. Your work of excellence begins to speak for itself. There will be respect and admiration provided you stay humble and treat everyone with kindness. And yes, this includes those who badmouthed you.

But in all of these, you benefit because you are the one who will learn the most, and now you can level up and shoot for bigger things in life. So what are the common denominators here?

1. Whether you like it or not, others will dislike you when you do good work.

2. If you want others to like you, then you follow the system and become a loser or be average like the rest of them. Do not be a people pleaser. It will get you nowhere.

3. When you excel, and others take notice of you, the more you should excel and keep yourself humble. So that those who are neutral would not turn against you and so that you would not destroy yourself.

4. You have to better yourself and stop being controlled by what others say, feel, or think about you.

I have not heard from the person ever since. Perhaps she is still on her journey of doing better and being better.

There is great wisdom in the words of William Arthur Ward. He says: “Blessed is he who has learned to admire, but not envy. To follow, but not imitate. To praise, but not flatter. To lead, but not to manipulate.” There will always be people who envy, imitate, flatter, and manipulate. There is nothing we can do much about their existence. What is important is that we do not do what they do, and we shield ourselves with the trust and confidence that we will only expend energy on what is good and what is right and will never allow their negative talk and thoughts to affect our sense of purpose and well-being.

I smile every time I remember how angry I was dealing with a very toxic person, and a Singaporean businessman offered me a piece of advice I have taken to heart even up to this day. He says, “Francis, remember this. The world is a beautiful place. Do not waste your time and energy fretting over ugly people.” Guess what? That piece of advice? It works!

(Francis Kong’s much awaited and highly acclaimed Level Up Leadership 2020 Edition runs on Jan. 29 and 30 at SEDA Hotel, BGC. Attend the two-day inspiring and effective seminar workshop. For further inquiries or advanced reservations contact April at +63928-559-1798 or register online at www.levelupleadership.ph)

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