Don’t Fall Prey to Entitlement; It’s a Two-Way Street

 In Recruit & Retain

Don’t Fall Prey to Entitlement; It’s a Two-Way Street

I recently had the great opportunity of attending a mastermind in New York City. Manhattan to be more precise. What a fabulous experience! I just love mastermind groups when they are run correctly, joining together individuals with just the right combination of differences and similarities.

This is not an easy accomplishment and great care goes into crafting successful masterminds. Not only the leaders, but also the participants have to bring their A-game to the table. Good masterminds bring so much value to my business in terms of knowledge sharing, confidence building, and motivation to aim higher.

Speaking of aiming higher, let’s have a chat about your responsibility to aim higher in your work goals. So many people take an entitlement approach to their own career satisfaction and growth and I’m getting a bit sick of it personally.

To be fair, I advise everyone, “Don’t fall prey to entitlement; it’s a two-way street” for both employees and employers. Creating just the right environment between the two is much like setting up a great mastermind. Let me share a story from a friend of mine to clarify.

Ronald works for a company in the oil and gas industry as an account manager. He’s very successful in his role, representing one mid-size client with a consistently high level of sales. Fortunately for Ron, customer rapport comes easy to him. Unfortunately for Ron, he is bored. Oh, what to do?

Time to take control

He could easily sit back and wait for something to happen to challenge him. After all, he’s making good money and making his boss happy. It’s the path of least resistance and easy to do. So for some time that is exactly what Ronald did. But he kept hearing a little voice inside his head saying, “Don’t fall prey to entitlement; it’s a two-way street.” Actually that was me, breathing down his neck about his attitude. I could see that he was expecting his boss to figure out why he was becoming unhappy.

Finally, he heard me. And he did the right thing. He met with his boss and explained that he wasn’t feeling challenged by his one account and wanted more responsibility, more accounts, SOMETHING to make him stretch and get excited about his role again. Good job Ron!

His boss took the right first step. He listened. He agreed to re-assess the workflow, the team goals, Ron’s strengths, and come back to him with “more” of something. He even then came back to Ron a few weeks later and asked him if he were interested in a newly vacated role that would be a promotion. Ron was eager to be considered and he interviewed for the position.

Then…his boss hired someone from outside the company for the job. Ron asked for feedback on why he wasn’t selected, but wasn’t given any reason beyond “so and so was more qualified.” What specifically does that mean? How could Ron have articulated his abilities more appropriately for the role? What could he have done to gain the missing qualifications? What were the missing qualifications?

Did he just drop the ball?

The boss didn’t provide any of those answers to him and was surprised that Ron was disappointed in the hiring decision. He was also surprised when Ron gave his notice a few weeks later. That’s an example of the boss feeling like he was entitled to have a loyal employee even when he wasn’t giving him a reason to be loyal and to feel valued.

That’s what I mean when I say, don’t fall prey to entitlement; it’s a two way street, and whether you’re a boss or an employee, you have to take responsibility. It takes work to create an environment of trust and motivation to aim higher. So do the work. Because both the employer and the employee have to bring their A game to the table.

“Your attitude can take you forward, or your attitude can take you down. The choice is always yours” — Catherine Pulsifer

Have you fallen prey to the entitlement syndrome? What steps can you take to change up your attitude and get moving forward? Tell us your story in the comments below. If you’d like the great quote as a download pdf, get it here.

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