“It is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” –Napolean Hill
Have you seen Coach Carter? The Mighty Ducks? The Blindside?
The underdogs who have never won anything who start to play and win as a team, the team that hates each other to start and then they grow to respect each other or the coach who discovers his or her true self by coaching this group of players.
Gold. Cinematic gold.
My wife disagrees slightly.
We watched Coach Carter when we were dating and I teared up at several points. Don’t listen to anyone who says real men don’t cry, they are silly and haven’t seen the actors of Coach Carter read a Marianne Williamson poem or the mighty ducks turn into a team and accept Gordon Banks from their hated rivals.
After Coach Carter finished all I could quietly say, voice cracking, was:
“I just know what it means to them”.
Dramatic isn’t it.
My favourite part of these films? The passion of the coaches to see their players succeed. They are not on the pitch but they equip, they cheer, they enable the players to find their talents and work as a team. The coaches are not the point, they are just enabling the team to go further.
Teamwork features later on the list, but this post is about cheering on. It’s about a passion for seeing someone else achieve great things and that being the reward.
Move on down the road
If all of our support came from a place not of duty, but of excitement to help someone else achieve we would have stronger companies, more fans for these companies and, I believe, be happier in our roles.
What if we saw our support like this – Our success is in the success of others.
The benefits of this thinking are huge.
– You learn to communicate well because you are so excited to help people understand what you are saying.
– The day is measured in people helped, not in minutes worked (or survived) or any other metric.
– That person has the potential to be successful with that information in the hours, days and weeks to come. Your work has an impact.
It doesn’t rely on people saying thank you, or an award. Having a positive impact on the journey is the motivator.
I think the saddest part of the support role is when it is seen just as a step to another team, or if “it’s Just a job”.
Customers can tell when you are in it for that reason alone – see every standup comedian sketch about calling a support helpline.
Don’t get me wrong and support is a wonderful way to launch into other things with knowledge of your customer base and the product. The Scott Berkun book ‘A year without pants’ talks about a “Support tour” – I love the idea of everyone having to come through support.
What I am saying is that a customer will 100% know if you are cheering for them, or if you are just trying to get through the day as quickly as possible.
Passion is not easy to fake, but it can be built. How do you measure success? In support, we can measure it in customer’s success and in them having a blocker moved right out of their way so they can do something wonderful. So they can move on down the road unhindered to where they were trying to get to.
You did that you big legend.