... if you're a jerk.
I’ve been thinking a lot about greatness lately. The next greatest writer hasn’t been discovered yet. We haven’t heard about the next greatest musician. The greats get known by the people they surround themselves with. When you surround yourself with greatness the greatness spreads.
There are greats out there who will never be known beyond their own small circle and bedroom walls. It’s kindness that leads you to success. It's kindness that spreads greatness.
People don’t want to work with jerks. While the jerks may find some success, their success will fade as their names get affixed to sentences like, “What ever happened to __________?” or “Oh ya, I remember _______________ who had that song. I heard he was a jerk.”
I don’t believe it’s because they run out of new songs or opportunities to perform. The well dries up because their name sours when heard within their industry - because they treated people poorly. Because they became a jerk.
Think of your own life. The people who are good tend to stick around and become successful. You remember the jerks but you have little regard or care for them. It’s not right to hold grudges but we do. It’s better to forgive and move on from the jerks. Kill em with kindness, as they say.
And so the greats are typically the kind. They are the ones who reflect upon their careers and the people who raised them to where they are today. The greats are the mentors who are willing to help the newbies. The greats are the ones who share what they have learned. The greats treat everyone equally regardless of their status or job titles.
The best in the world may never be discovered because of the way they treat people. Their name can be tarnished within a community or an industry forever. We may never know the greatest writer, actor, chef, doctor...
I was reminded of this when working at a music festival recently. I spent a considerable amount of time with one of the organizers who confided in me about certain artists who would never be invited back. They explained how certain artists are no longer working because they are known within the industry as jerks.
Would you want to do business with a jerk? Would you hire a jerk?
And if you are seeking greatness…it’s wise to remember this. Treat them with kindness because kindness spreads. You may not be the best in the world at what you do, but your phone will ring before the jerk's.
Image credit: welzen.org