I hope you won’t get offended if I tell you that technology use won’t make you or anyone into a great person. In fact, nothing that is technological necessarily has the ability to do the former. No, your smartphone use will not transform you into the next Rockefeller, Washington, or will make you have the heart of civil rights leader John Lewis. It’s just not gonna happen. What can make you move towards achieving greatness in this life is your capacity to be self aware, self regulate, motivate, your ability to develop empathy and communicate socially. Greatness is almost always defined by others so you might as well win them over and treat them right in order to have a good chance of success.
A professional who is incapable of seeing how he/she is behaving towards others is on their way to displaying uncontrolled emotions and consequently losing both credibility and influence within an organization or a particular team. Unless a person is aware of what he/she does, damage occurs which can indeed lead to frustration and in many cases high turn over of both good and bad employees in organizations. By being self aware of your persona, chances are high that you can view yourself more positively and expand your influence beyond a few people. Daniel Goleman and other experts in emotional intelligence (EQ) have proposed the former to be a critical element of success in organizational leadership. I couldn’t concur with Daniel and others more. I wish that behavioral self awareness was the only construct that you needed to master in order to achieve greatness in the workforce. It isn’t the only one. You also need to be able to do what psychologist John Anderson from Carnegie Mellon University proposes — Self regulation.
College professors and many other professionals are known for displaying bursts of emotions once in a while. Although sharing emotions in public is a normal and expected human behavior, those who are able to control their emotions perform better in the long run as they are able to control their impulses and take responsibility for their decisions. Being able to face reality and self-regulate enhances one’s chances to accept change and develop new ideas, two critical components of success in any industry. The question then becomes — Why isn’t everyone self-regulating more often? Maybe it is because of arrogance or perhaps due to their inability to control their impulses and find ways to justify their decisions without being self aware of their own actions. Self regulation is as critical as self awareness if someone has the goal of becoming great in this life.
If you are not a good mediator, negotiator and motivator, you are in trouble as far as being great in the workforce. Greatness is the cousin of motivation. If you can’t motivate, you can’t improve and consequently can’t meet challenging life goals and truly lead any private establishment or public unit. Are you ready to boost morale for your own sake? You better if you like to have an organization performing beyond its capacity and planned goals and objectives. Remember: Opposition and differences in opinion are likely to occur wherever you work or spend the majority of your time. In 43 years, I haven’t seen too many people out there who can achieve greatness and not be a motivator. Take this seriously and motivate. It is that simple.
Empathy can be understood as ones ability to “see” how others feel and do self analysis on how one’s actions and decisions affects others. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of others is both critical and a gift, I must add. Not everyone was born with the Christian gift of exhortation or was born so naturally gifted in empathy that further EQ training then becomes optional. We all need to develop this important and quite critical skill-set if we are to be truly great in the world. Sometimes you just have to be able to pick up how others feel and be empathetic to them. Listen carefully: One day, you will need others to show empathy towards you to console you. The world goes round and round. Never forget that.
What if I told you that all these former points aren’t good enough until we all develop quite sophisticated social skills? Regardless of the career you choose, you will have to communicate well, especially socially. Great communicators use their social skills to leverage team and conflict management, leadership roles, cooperation. Ones ability to relate to one another, master social rules, both verbally and non-verbally, is the differentiator between those who achieve real greatness or are often stuck in mediocrity, sometimes subpar positions. If your goal is to be great at home, you need to apply these concepts at home. The same can be said if your goal is to be great at work. Is there a way out of this? No, there isn’t. We all need to adhere to these rules as soon as we humanly can and keep practicing and developing them.
I hope you won’t get offended if I tell you that technology use won’t make you or anyone into a great person. Technology is overrated! Human skills are required and necessary. I say, “Work on your organizational behaviors first and foremost.” Develop Emotional Intelligence skills and reflect. Be a source of happiness and sometimes the hero for others. Self Awareness and regulation, motivation, empathy and social skills is what we all need to be great. The alternative is just perishable machinery and propaganda.