Average is bad? Is being average, a.k.a. normal, such a bad thing? Really? Or is modern media fanning the belief that to be successful, in any endeavor, you have to be special? From Jim Rohn’s perspective, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. Beyond the hype, the threat of being special is that it conceals the fact that the vast majority of the time you are average, normal, and contributing your part to world.
The modern imperative of being an “idol”, “special”, or always a “winner” doesn’t have a place in the engineering or project management profession. In fact, it doesn’t have a place in business. The vast majority of the time you’re working away in the shadows, obscured from the eyes of others creating your art. There’s no stage on which you’re performing, no masses to hail your efforts…or mistakes. The vast majority of time it’s you, your team, and a client and her team. A small group of people who don’t need an idol, don’t need someone special, and don’t need a winner. That’s zero-sum game talk: I win, you lose.
What’s needed is someone who is dependable, a leader, a teammate, an expert…a professional. Those who consider themselves professionals aren’t interested in being an idol or being special. They will certainly be interested in being a winner, and sharing that success with their team. And in failure, they brush themselves off, accept what is their fate, then adjust for the next engagement.
If special is what you’re after, then perhaps that’s what you really mean. You’re after the unique qualities of daring, failing, picking yourself up, and going at it again.
“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” Japanese Proverb
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