It’s All About “Us”

19 02 2011

I have a personal peeve about workers using the first person singular to describe what their company does. I would have prefered to open the first sentence with “we have a personal peeve…etc.”, but this situation is occurring more frequently, and not just in our company. “We” own a business concern in a major metropolitan city. “We” share a number of accounts, and ‘we” also have accounts who have solid relationships with only one of our associates, and generally do not need all of us working on their projects.

The bottom line is that “I” am not a marketing/public relations expert. “I” am also not a business development professional. “I” know very little about some of the industries that “we” serve. “We” however are outstanding in each and every one of these areas – and “we” are what makes the company so successful.

I recently had the misfortune to be cornered by a “networking idiot”, who proceeded to share the statistical data that he was solely responsible for the accomplishments of his employer. “His” company was thriving because of the amazing values he brought to the table. I would love to have had the chance to meet his co-workers – I suspect that 1.) they all have his shoeprints running up their backs; 2.) he is either exaggerating or has made the entire scenario up; and 3.) he is universally despised in the office.

Most people (and businesses) prefer to know that the vendors looking after their interests are a stable company, not an individual employee with probable self esteem issues. Saying “me” or “I” when discussing your qualifications should send up a red flag to your listeners. Your listeners are well attuned to the fact that no individual can perform every job function well. It is true that no man (or woman) is an island.

The way we live our lives is similar to the way we should operate our businesses. My spouses’ achievements are shared accomplishments. Our children are very successful and “we” are proud of both of them. Parents receive accolades for how well their children have grown, but the truth is that it works both ways. Good parents learn as much from their children as the other way around. Parenting and growing up are difficult challenges. Ask any family – ask any business.

The word “ego” should be a shared phenomenon in both your family and your business. When one succeeds, we all succeed. Life is a team sport – play hard, play fair, and play together.


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