Leadership and Envy Shouldn’t Co-exist
Have you ever been in a situation where you were passed up for a leadership post or promotion and began to feel resentful to the person who got what you wanted? I admit I have. It hurts and instead of feeling happy for that person, you begin to become critical, even angry towards them. And unfortunately we may even act in a way that provokes the same feelings in others.
What you are feeling is envy.
The danger with envy is it prevents leaders from truly caring about others. It erodes relationships and prevents us from supporting others as effectively as we can. When we are filled with envy, it can consume us and eventually define us.
Envy is the result of pride. C.S. Lewis once wrote. “It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” And once pride has gone, envy will cease.
We must stop such thinking as leaders. Someone else’s success doesn’t constitute our failure. You are you, and the great news is that no one else is you. It’s our uniqueness that makes us so special and interesting. Just because someone else got the promotion, doesn’t mean you are any less of an employee, leader or person. It was simply a decision.
Many leaders try to be someone they aren’t. Whether their motivation is a promotion or to be esteemed by those they lead – the most successful leaders are themselves and don’t compare themselves or try to be someone else. At the end of the day authenticity wins the race. Be true to you and your values and amazing things begin to happen.
Here are a few tips for overcoming envy both as a leader and employee, but also as a human being.
1. Send Flowers. Instead of sulking in your own pity for being passed up on a promotion, send flowers, a gift or note of congratulations to your colleague who did. When you begin to act with kindness, you will begin to feel kind.
2. Compare Yourself to You. There will always be someone with who has more or is better at something than you. You won’t win. Instead, spend time comparing yourself to you.
Review your progress. How much have you improved in being you? You are not required to be like them, you are required to be like you.
3. Focus on Gratitude. When we become grateful, we become plentiful. Just like complete darkness and light can’t co-exist, neither can gratitude and envy. One is abundant and the other is empty. Focus on what you are grateful for today and you won’t focus on what you don’t have tomorrow.When we become grateful, we become plentiful. ~Michael RogersClick To Tweet
What other tips do you have for overcoming Envy?
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