Sunday, October 17, 2010

The down side of being humble!

Simply said it is bad for business.

That is what I learnt when I was having a chat with a respected friend regarding a mutual client. He said this individual thinks me and my company is not capable because we are not as obnoxiously loud and abrasive as some of the others in the industry we operate in.

It hurt to hear this but then isn't it true that the truth hurts? And deep down in my heart I knew it was true.

Because I have been told the same thing once before by another CEO when I wrote him a letter of introduction. He met me secretly later as I was recommended highly to him by someone he respected and he desperately needed my services to get him out of the mess the company was in. So subsequently I did get the business. But when I told him that I had written to him previously and had no response he said “CJ I did not even think it was from the same company which was described to me… your letter was too humble; when people talk about you they talk great things about you and your team and the great work you guys are doing but your letter was so down to earth that I thought you were some new kid on the block begging for a foot in the door.”

I always took pride in the fact that I was not like the others in my profession. Generally they tended to talk big and could be described as all hype but of very little substance. I preferred to be quiet, calm and collected. The one who would under promise but over deliver. I was always aware that by being so I was swimming against the tide. And it would be a disadvantage initially where everyone is used to glib smooth talk. But that is the way I am and it is difficult for me to be what I am not. Over the past few years it has brought good results for me. I have been able to attract a talented and dedicated team and also build strong relationships with my clients who greatly value what I do. In fact I was in my comfort zone till I was knocked off my feet by what my friend said. For a couple of hours I was wondering if this was the time to change. But again I realized that I have to be true to my roots and would not enjoy living a lie. So I have made a determined promise to myself that I will change this clients attitude towards my abilities somehow or other.

But of course I will do it quietly.

1 comment:

Scrumps said...

I'd much rather be humble and respected that obnoxious and resented. At least you know you're doing a job with nothing on your conscience! :)