Here’s a quiz to see if you will become mediocre:
1. Is it important to you to be liked by others?
If you answered yes, then you are at risk of being average and mediocre.
When the tide of opinion about you is in the middle, it is safe, you will be liked and you will be average at best.
Likeable = forgettable.
When you move beyond that and start making waves you will become loved BUT you will also become hated.
Love and hate come from holding positions and opinions. But as long as you do good work and add value, you should never worry about it.
There is very little between Gods and Monsters. Hell, even the Devil was once an angel!
What I mean by this is don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, take a risk and put yourself on the line, call out bad work, lack of traction, poor execution, suggesting that your way is the best way etc.
You will be loved because you are brave enough to openly hold a position. You will be hated because you are calling people out, treading on agendas, interests and politics. (Do at your own discretion). But if you do good value adding work then not only will you be fine but you will start going places.
A great tell-tale sign that you are making waves is when senior people look in your direction often during meetings, they call you up to run things by you and they point people in your direction.
Now I’m not saying you should be offensive with your remarks (though it worked nicely for Trump), your fashion sense or body odour. But even the most successful people in popular culture are not liked. Trump, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Angela Merkel, Kobe Bryant, Bono etc. they are loved or hated. No middle ground.
Start thinking about leaving behind the safety of your likability because likeability is the safety zone. 95% of the population seek to be likable.
Do you really want to be with 95% of people? Average? Don’t do it. I won’t let you!
The better I get, the further I progress, the more I am loved, the more I am hated. At first it’s hard to let go and know success will bring hate, but when you do, it’s liberating, and your insecurities will melt like lemon drops high above the chimney tops.
You might think all this talk of hate is negative of me but it’s not! Quite the opposite, it’s positive because your worries and fears just disappear. In fact when you are trying to be likable, that is pure fear. You begin to live your life and make decisions: small and big based on how it will affect your likability. I have seen brilliant intelligent professionals, who were straight A students in top universities have their careers crippled and lose momentum because they couldn’t bare to not be likable.
In fact I no longer feed my ego by concerning myself who loves me, I measure my success by how hated I am. I want to know people are bad mouthing me; I want to see a conversation awkwardly change subject as I walk in to a room. I even get hate mail from people on my email list.