Be ambitious, pursue your dreams, but don’t be a hero and step on people to get there.
Hero Ball refers to a selfish brand of playing basketball. When a player is more concerned with his own statistical performance than winning, there’s a problem. Today’s athlete is easier to market based on individual talent, but talent alone doesn’t directly equate to winning.
Let’s transition to the professional world. If you’re solely interested in being successful alone, you’re missing the boat. Yes, you need to be a certain degree of selfish to get ahead, but it’s hard to climb high without the help of others.
Take for instance attending a networking event. I’ve been to plenty to know who’s in it for themselves vs. those who genuinely want to help others. The “sharks” who are after the sale craft their pitch and want you to buy. When they realize you have nothing to offer, they leave. Someone who is genuinely interested in connecting with others asks more questions and wants to know how they can help you. Another true indicator of intentions is what, if any follow up is done after the meeting.
Going back to my example of the athlete, not only is a “hero” out for themselves, they’re also hard to play with. You’ll notice they tend to jump from team to team (company to company), season after season (year after year), not because they’re not talented, but because they don’t make everyone around them better or get along with many people.
It’s important to note, every success story has many people who helped him/her get there along the way. You won’t hear about them because it’s not newsworthy, but every tall building needs a foundation to stand on.