My mom used to say “ungavuyisi iintshaba mntwan’am” (do not make enemies happy my child), every time I messed up. She would say similar stuff even when she pushes us to do better, or when she tried to make plans to get us something to eat before we go to sleep. And as time went, the same philosophy seemed to be used in every space I was exposed to. The main aim of survival was to do better than the one that is considered a competitor. To be the best student in the class, you had to outscore everyone, and then find enemies in those who had hoped to outscore you on that test in the process. One would find subtle tensions between the best performers of such a class.
I’ve also learned the same is true for leadership positions. The ones on running for a leadership position in an organization turn to enemies and try to sabotage the efforts of their competitor in order to make themselves look better suited for the post. And once that position is filled, whoever won has to always look over their shoulder, because they know the enemy is coming. Because they do not know who the enemy really is, everyone with the potential of leading the pack becomes a suspect. However, it is often those who are seen as not much of a threat who strike when they are least expected, and the victim feels they were betrayed, whereas the culture of competition has turned everyone into an apparent enemy.
WHAT IF THERE WAS A DIFFERENT APPROACH?
Instead of always looking for someone to outscore in order to feel good about you, how about trying to be a reason why someone decided to try again when they thought they had failed?
In life, all of us has struggled and thought of giving up at some point. The struggles we had encountered will differ, but there will always be others who are struggling to get out of a similar situation which you were once at. Those kinds of people will always be there, and you might be what they need to find hope again. It should your duty to lend a helping hand to those in a somewhat inferior position than you; instead of always trying to be a hand of destruction to those you see as in a position the same as yours.
I believe if you are a leader, you will need loyal followers. A loyal following is not just inherited from the previous leadership which was there before you. People will give you your respect because you are in a higher rank compared to them, but we do not know if you will have their loyalty. Just like respect, loyalty is earned, and because of how you got the position, we may think you have loyalty and respect, whereas it is just that people are scared of you. They will not be scared forever.
People are loyal to those whom they feel comfortable to say “it is because of you that I am in this position today”. And those they are loyal to, they will forever feel indebted to them. When people feel what you have done for them is priceless, they will always try to find a way to pay the price for you. Sometimes you will feel they are doing too much, but for them, it is just the least they can do to repay what you have done for them. These are the people you need on your corner, but for that to happen, you have to be of service to those who need you the most, instead of being a competitor to those who want you out.
Enemies will die. Does that mean your life stops when they are no longer there?
People struggle every day, I am sure your story can inspire someone to try again. Now, that is something I believe is worth living for.
One is frustrating, while the other is fulfilling. Which one do you choose to live by?
WE ARE THE GELTONNATION
I exist, you exist. Why are you making yourself or anyone feel nonexistent?