Have you noticed the "clubs or cliques" if you will, out there that are all about helping each other out? They can be as simple as your alma mater, your fraternity or sorority affiliation, or your religious or ethnic group. Regardless of the association, the important thing is there is a network out there to support you and get your back in the big, bad world.
With all that amazing support out there, why on earth do some people insist on tearing each other down? There are tales of in-office battles, personal agendas, and passive aggressive behavior around the workplace that can destroy morale and make one stop and shutter. I am dumbfounded from time to time and wonder why people keep each other down rather than building a tight support network that can follow you around throughout your career.
I figure there are several reasons people behave that way.
1. Jealousy. There are people out there who can't watch others around them succeed. It eats on their nerves not to be the center of attention. I must admit it's hard if you feel like you're doing all you can and so is your co-worker, then they get noticed, and you don't. Sometimes they get promoted and you don't.
My mentor Rhonda Shasteen, tells an amazing story of coming up through the ranks of Mary Kay with three peers. At one time, her peers were promoted and she wasn't. Ouch! Not only that, she was only informed of the decision about five minutes before going into the meeting where the promotions were to be announced. That's a bitter pill to swallow. It is one of those situations where you're happy for your friends and sad for yourself. Rhonda is an amazing example of self-awareness in her ability to choose to be happy for her friends rather than being jealous and petty. Eventually it was her turn, and she was promoted and promoted again until she made it to the top. She's a prime example of how doing the right thing paid off for her in the end.
2. Personal Agenda. This is another reason people can't get out of their own way. They are so focused on what they want that they don't see how they are hurting their teammates and their company. Rhonda has assured me, and I've witnessed a few times, that people with a personal agenda are always exposed in the end. They don't have a long-term strategy, and eventually don't achieve extended success.
Those are a couple of reasons, why people keep each other down, and we'll explore more in the next post.