I’ve learned from experience—usually the best teacher—that the road to the top can be potholed with associations of the wrong kind. Also, your way can be paved smooth by knowing the right people. That tried and true belief that people are known by the company they keep certainly applies when it comes to mastering your way to the top.
Who are the wrong associates? I’m not talking about lowlifes, bigots, cheats, liars or child abusers. I’m pretty sure you’re not going to hang out with those types anyway. I’m talking about people who are dangerous to your trip to the top. These people get in the way of your progress. They hold you back.
Who are they? Well first there are the ATANA: the All Talk And No Action People. Believe me, there are plenty of those around. They talk a good line, but that’s all there is to it. They’re “wannabes,” but they won’t be because they do nothing. They’re easy to recognize regardless of where you work. Perhaps they hang around the water cooler or maybe they drift from office to office with coffee cups in hand. Wherever they gather, they are ready to share the latest gossip, to dish the dirt, but that’s about all.
These people are bench warmers, not players, yet they bellyache because the coach (or supervisor, foreman, boss, head honcho) doesn’t put them in the game. Why should the coach do that? ATANA people don’t score. In short, they are losers. The sad part about losers is that they’d like you to be the same as they are. They envy any success you might attain. They’re happiest when they can drag you down to their level. I guess it’s because misery likes company. But worse, they represent the F word—failure. Sooner or later they fail, not only at work but also at life.
Although they may not use these exact words when catching your eye or ears, the expressions on their faces speak just as loudly as the words they utter.
*“Ah me, I lost that sale.”
*”Alas, the boss has it in for me”.
*”Woe is me; I never have any good luck.”
*”If only I had been around when opportunity knocked.”
*”What’s the use; I’ll never get that contract.”
*Trouble is, competition has me beat.”
They are always singing the blues. Leave that to experts like Ella Fitzgerald. The words give up are not in my vocabulary. I made up my mind not to be influenced by, or even listen to the bench warmers and “sad song” singers. They were making excuses when they should have been taking action. By giving ATANA folks a deaf ear, I put myself in an atmosphere of confidence and self-assurance that could bring about only positive results. I learned how atmosphere or environment can have a profound effect on one’s attitude about business and about life. I’ve spent a great deal of time with these people in view and within earshot. I learned never to let them get in my way, and that’s something you, too, need to learn! Associate with Success!
Photo Credit – MCSA Training