Be Someone or Do Something?

Are you in your work primarily to be someone or to do something?  Many leaders make compromises to be someone rather than do something that makes a difference.  In the concentration of being someone, many compromises are made.  Compromising is a part of reality and business.  If those compromises include the following, you’re likely in it for being someone:

  • paying your dues
  • checking your boxes
  • putting in your time
  • leaving things essentially as they are; status quo
  • focusing on personal reputation
  • taking credit for the work of others

In Ryan Holidays book, Ego Is The Enemy, he features a quote by Frederick Douglas where he once stated, “A man is worked upon by what he works on.”  At many decision points in our careers, you’ll need to make choices.  Will we work (do something) to make the difference that we set out to make, or will we be worked upon to be someone (promoted/included/easier life).

“Appearances are deceiving.” (Holiday):

  • Having authority is not the same as being an authority.
  • Having the right and being right are not the same either.
  • Impressing people is utterly different from being truly impressive.

If your purpose is something larger than you — to accomplish something, to prove something to yourself — then suddenly everything becomes both easier and more difficult.”

Yes, with learning and leading to make a difference, you’ll be worked on.  You’ll make choices.


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