“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Almost all the authors consider “greatness” the most important virtue from the ladder of effectiveness and success of a human being. There is yet one more rung above “greatness”, called “genuineness”. The person who climbs up to this final rung is great and yet, genuine to his core and the core of the company which propelled him there. The conventionally known “greatness” is not necessarily “genuineness”. It is a great achievement in one’s life but cannot be considered an attained target.
Many times, this conventional greatness equates unprecedented popularity, high success and effectiveness in narrower isolated fields and tremendous power to help or harm others, but does not generate the internal happiness each of us needs. As we all know, we are currently living in a “global village” and life is becoming universal at a fast pace. Therefore, the professional competition is also global and is undertaken with unprecedented involvement by all persons who feel they can be true professionals.
As Maria said during one of the Qualitance Workshops, as external IT Consultants, it is our duty to prove ourselves in front of the managers from the company we are sent to, since not only our own reputation is at stake, but also the reputation of the company who sends us there depends on this. Because of these factors, being great becomes a must (not a highly graded expectancy) and being genuine becomes a target we all need to aim.
At such a high level, our colleagues from the teams we will be integrated in will expect us to be better than them at what they do, more fierce, more untamed, more creative, more spectacular….in few words, we need to step out from the crowd, to think outside the box, to have individual traits…in one word, they expect us to be “genuine”. Whereas a typical employee does what is assigned to him, tasks, jobs or projects which might or might not be meaningful to the company without having an overview of how these activities impact the overall success of the project he is involved in and his colleagues, a genuine professional creates, develops and works on genuine projects, which may be small but meaningful, beneficial to the team he is involved in and full of impact for the company. While typical employees involve personal life, problems and thoughts in their day-to-day activities, a genuine professional is only committed to providing premium quality services, being effective and efficient in order to prove and excel in his skills and capabilities.
After proving himself in front of his colleagues or managers, a genuine professional will be able to fully focus on solving the other problems of his life. Another huge difference between genuine professionals and typical employees is given by the way in which they perceive constraints: whereas the first is bothered by interferences, bureaucracy, rules and other constraints, the second will always be free, action oriented and will not restrict his activities to the standardized ones according to the self-imposed rules or the restrictions imposed by others. Maybe the most important perceivable difference between the two categories of employees is the ability, capacity and willingness to be client-oriented. Here, I mean both internal (colleagues, team-members, managers) and external (final customer to whom the services are provided)-client oriented.
A genuine professional needs to be able to market his abilities, to cope with the desires of his colleagues and to be able to get the project he is involved in up and running by using the always limited available resources. I am sure each of us can set a limit between a “great” and a “genuine”, since standards don’t apply here and I will be more than happy to see other thoughts related to this topic in the comment section below. So, while spending a relaxing Christmas with your loved ones and/or during a noisy New Year with your friends, please make sure at least one of your resolutions for 2013 will be a way in which you will be able to pick the less traveled road from your life and be closer to achieving genuineness, since I am sure all of us are already great.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a New Year 2013 filled with success and recognition!