Okay, I really thought that this was going to be a really hard post for me, because I feel that this is a really hard concept for me to meet up to. I sometimes feel that it is antithetical, not only to my own nature, but to SUCCESS in general.
Those who know me know that HUMILITY is not my strongest subject. I know what I am capable of (in most cases), and what is beyond my skills or knowledge to perform. I take PRIDE in being able to do a good job, and in becoming the best at whatever job I am doing. Sound good so far?
My wife, on the other hand, is way more valuable to her company than I am. She is every bit as good as I am at what I do, she probably cares a lot more about everything that I do, and she is way better looking (let’s face it: that counts for something!), but she is also way more humble about her abilities than I am. Sometimes I think that she is just better at acting or playing it off that way, but the truth is, she really is that humble, and it makes her a much stronger asset than I am. Where it might hurt her is in dealing with people who are clearly not as good at their job as she is. Most of these people are management types, and some of them are really good at what they do, but there are a few…, let’s just say that the only reason she isn’t a big-time CEO somewhere is because she isn’t willing to put up with all the headaches that come with the job. The problem is, because she is so humble, people mistake that humility for weakness, and because she isn’t willing to deal with the headaches, she lets them go right ahead.
My dad used to tell a story of when he used to work in a hospital. The nursing staff of a particular floor had a party, and made a mess. One of the head nurses yelled at a housekeeper to clean up the mess. The housekeeper asked why she should clean when she didn’t make the mess. The nurse told her that if she had done the work and went to school, she would have been a nurse, so she had to do what the nurse said. A doctor was there, heard the exchange, and told the housekeeper not to clean, and called the nurse to account. He told the nurse that if SHE had been willing to do the work and go to school, she would have been a doctor and wouldn’t have to clean up after the party.
When at work, it is important to maintain humility, especially when dealing with bosses. Bosses usually have strong egos and thin skin, and because they are the boss and you aren’t, you need to learn how to maneuver around these people while keeping your job in tact. I’m a firm believer in the philosophy of NEVER GIVE ANONYMOUSLY, but there are ways to do a thing, and there are proper times and places to do these things. In every company that I’ve worked for, there was usually some sort of meeting where the boss would ask what I had accomplished since the previous meeting. I made sure to list off what I had accomplished, but I also made sure to give credit to anybody else who had helped me succeed. This was sometimes more important to my contribution. If someone helped me, no matter how much, I would always give them the majority of the credit and praise for the accomplishment.
Remember when I said that I also know what is beyond my knowledge and skill? This is another important part of humility. I know next to nothing about the processing of mortgage loans. I’ve had a couple of training classes, and I might be able to survive with the help of a strong mentor, but on my own—useless. I know that. I also know many very good mortgage loan officers that I would trust with my reputation, so I will gladly tell clients to see this specific person or that one.
When dealing with finances, you also need to keep in mind that you may not be the best at every investment vehicle. Maybe you understand one better than another, or maybe you just like one better than others. Either way, stay honest, especially with yourself.
Also, if you are doing well, don’t make the mistake of bragging about it to the point that you are annoying other people. In addition to losing out on friends and loved ones, everything that goes up must come down, and KARMA has a way of calling at the most inopportune times.