To succeed in business, don’t do what I do.
Every one of my colleagues will tell you: when it comes to my accomplishments I vastly understate them, and tend to overstate my failures. Time and time again, this has hindered me in the business world where the culture rewards exactly the opposite. In fact, I owe most of my success to my colleagues who (luckily for me) promote my results and achievements on my behalf, ensuring some meager success in my career.
Success in social business, however, is something entirely different. Oddly enough, I think this very same behaviour which works to my detriment in traditional business has been a key player to my success in social business: the lack of focus on my own achievements, and more focus on helping and/or highlighting others’ successes and accomplishments.
Unlike traditional business culture, the social-media culture tends to reward this altruistic nature of sharing while similarly demonizing the overt self-aggrandizement. Those who are seeing great success in social business are the ones who are sharing not only their own content, but more readily the content of others. In the social spaces, ego is damned while the authenticity of altruistic sharing is lauded.
With that, I’d like to share this TED talk on what motivates people in work. Specifically, I’d like to call out the idea and connection here that motivation to engage in social business can come from more than just individual personal benefit, and that success in social business will be seen when more people are engaged as the builders rather than observers/evaluators: