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  • Success Breeds Jealousy


    Surprisingly one of the toughest parts of success is finding a colleague happy for you. But as they say, “Anyone can get pity. Jealousy you have to earn.”

    Following the advice in my blog posts might cause you some trouble. When you persistently do off-the charts good work, the unintended consequence is that you make other people look bad. That can create a problem for you because frankly, people are often envious of your effort and success. It’s crazy, but you will be reviled by some for your exertion. They are afraid you’ll make them look inferior—their worst fear. I’ve asked many CEOs what was the biggest surprise they experienced once becoming CEO, and the majority told me some version of being taken aback by how many enemies they then had.

    One told me that it is a double-edged sword to differentiate yourself:

    When you get noticed, get rewarded, get recognition, coworkers, family, and friends can turn on you. Jealousy is a unique human instinct, and it can create a divide. Instead of lauding your accomplishments, they make snide remarks. I remember my coworkers griping, “You’re making us all look bad,” and then reacting by trying to make me look bad. It was a total surprise to me that that would happen.

    People are jealous because you remind them of their weaknesses, which makes them feel fearful and insecure. When you are a nobody, doing nothing, no one cares. But if you start leading the pack, you’ll get the arrows in your rear. That’s just life.

    The only thing you can do is to try in every way to highlight and spotlight the accomplishments of others. When they do well, praise and laud them. Do not hold back praise or retaliate against them in any way. Just continue to pour your heart into your craft. And in a private place on your body, you can tattoo in Sanskrit: “Success is the best revenge.”

    Debra Benton has a new book from McGraw-Hill (June, 2017)  titled, The Leadership Mind Switch: Rethinking How We Lead in the New World of Work.

    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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