Talent is God-given, be humble. Fame is man-given, be thankful. Conceit is self-given, be careful.
This saying is often attributed to the famous college basketball coach John Wooden. I love the quote. If you think you’re talent is indispensable, just stick your finger in a bowl of water and watch the hole it leaves when you pull it out.
Throughout my career, I have observed what happens when heads swell and egos exceed capacity. The “me-first” attitude is met with “not-you-again” resistance, and suddenly you stop being effective. Ego stops you from getting things done and getting people to work with you. That’s why I firmly believe that ego and success are not compatible.
How Did You Get Where You Are?
There is no shame in taking pride in achievements or position. But nobody gets to be the “best” without learning from others. It’s only lonely at the top if you forget all the people you met along the way, and fail to acknowledge their contributions to your success.
Think of it this way: When business is good, who gets the credit? When the chips are down, whom do you blame? If you see only yourself, keep looking. Look closely, and see if you recognize people who shaped you as a young child, throughout your education, and at every step in your career.
If you’ve ever read one of my books, take a look at the “Acknowledgement” section. You’ll see how many people I needed to thank for my achievements in this industry!