Has anyone ever told you about that friend who changed when the found success? You probably have experienced at least one time someone identifying how success, regardless of scale, “changed” this person.
You know the story: someone we know is super cool, and then they find success or get a little power in their position and suddenly become a jerk.
Bad news though – It’s not true.
Success does not change us; it merely magnifies what has always existed inside of us.
See, when we start out, we have zero equity, and zero equity comes with zero influence. No one has to put up with us because blowing us off costs them nothing and simultaneously we usually have nothing to offer them that will improve their situation.
Over time, our talent, creativity, and leadership start to develop. We begin to get a little better at what we do, and people notice. As people see, we begin to have more opportunity. When we dominate our new positions, we become more “successful” – our equity grows and now, the same people who would pay us little attention desire to get all of our attention.
So how are we going to act?
We talk a ton about developing our leadership and creative gifts. We work hard to study and refine our skills. But how much time are we talking to make sure we are capable of handling any success that may come our way?
Does our character outpace our talent?
Start by serving others every day. Find a way to help others rather than being served. Remember, you are special to God, but that does not give you any space for entitlement.
Remember what got you here. Then, repeat it every day. Don’t change the reason why you do what you’ve always done.
Develop empathy! Imagine what life is like in “their” shoes. Others’ base their opinions and perspective on the baggage they bring into our relationships, just like we do, so walk with the grace you desire.
Accept the blame but give away the praise. It will keep us grounded and remind us how important it is to have other great people in our lives.
Don’t read your press. It’s dangerous, and when you start to believe it, it will kill you. Remember you are doing this for His Kingdom, not for your kingdom
Avoid the highs and lows. We’re never as good as our successful moments. But we’re also never as bad as our failures. Understand that life is going to bring us both. Our identity is not found in what we do but in who we are.
Invite accountability. Find and permission someone who can stop you in your tracks. We all need one person who can be the voice of reason in our lives – the person who loves us enough to tell us the truth, even when we don’t want to hear it, that can stop us dead in our tracks.
Never ask anyone to do something you would not do. Plain and simple.
Be someone’s champion. Finding other talented and up-and-coming people helps us remember how we arrived. At some point, someone took a chance on us. Who are we willing to take a chance on and permission to fail?
Remember who you are. You. Not what you do. Not your song. Not your message. Not your gift or your talent. Not your leadership IQ. Who are you? The person your kids knows. That person your Mom calls on Saturdays…stay connected to that girl/guy.
And never forget…
Success does not change us; it only magnifies what has always existed inside of us.
How do you stay grounded?