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The Problem with Envy

     Having a competitive fire is necessary for those wishing to excel. If we want to climb the corporate ladder, generate more sales, or separate ourselves from the pack, we need to be uncomfortable with our current situation. In other words, we canít be happy sitting on the sidelines waiting for things to happen in our favor. We need to get in the game!

Far too many people today complain when others do well. ďI canít believe sheís taking that trip to Paris! Why is she leaving her kids behind! Thatís ridiculous!Ē Instead of criticizing others for enjoying the good things in life, we should learn from them. What is the secret they are using? Itís far better to know how to make something positive happen than to be envious about it.

Envy Shuts You Down
When we are envious, we stop thinking about self improvement because we are more focused on what others are doing, and less about how we can get on the right track. The fact is that others will make decisions they feel are right for them, regardless of what we think.

I recently learned about this conversation:

DAN: You know that Claudia is going to get that promotion to manage the Hong Kong office.

ALICE: I did hear that she was first in line. I really canít believe that sheís up for this promotion. Look Ö sheís only been here about 18 months, and you and I have been here for more than five years.

DAN: I heard someone say that she looks like the ďcorporateĒ type. Sheís the trophy they want in Asia. Iím sure she will fall short of expectations. Itís a big mistake, and time will quickly expose her.

ALICE: Thatís true! I guess if I lost about 20 lbs. and put on one of those cutesy business suits I would also impress the leadership team. Itís about the look around here. I bring so much more to the table. Claudia has the right look, but has zero skills to manage this big job. The more I talk about, the more upset I get.

DAN: Iím more that upset! I donít know anything about the ďcutesy business suit,Ē but I do know that I should be first in line for that Hong Kong position. I know that region well, and Iím ready to try something new. Iím sure my wife and kids would enjoy China. Youíre right Ö the more we talk about it, the more angry and resentful I am about the whole situation.

ALICE: What should we do about it?

DAN: I think we should wish her as much bad luck as possible. I can tell you that Iím not going to bust my butt around here anymore. Iím doing the bare minimum. At 5 p.m., I will no longer answer any emails, voicemails, or texts. After this unfair appointment to Claudia, Iím drawing the line!

ALICE: I agree. If they want Claudia for the job, they can forget about me going the extra mile!

This conversation between Dan and Alice epitomizes the negative impact of envy. Instead of learning what it takes to earn a top international assignment, they complain about the situation. As long as they are bitter, their creative minds are closed, which means they are going nowhere Ö and fast.

Article Source:

Dr. Jimmie Flores,PhD,PMP,ITIL,SSBB,SPHR,GPHR is a seasoned organizational development and continuous improvement professional with 20 years of experience. In 2006, he founded the Flores Consulting Group, a company based in San Antonio, TX. Dr. Flores is also an expert in project management, ITIL, Six Sigma, Entrepreneurship, and Sports Officiating. Please visit our website at

Posted on 2013-11-05, By: *

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Note: The content of this article solely conveys the opinion of its author.

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