Gongol.com Archives: January 2024

Brian Gongol

January 27, 2024

Everyone knows somebody who tries a little too hard to get ahead. Not someone who's trying to be the best at what they do. Not someone who's seeking to be the best person they can be. Merely somebody who's always out to achieve some situational advantage to get ahead. ■ These climbers can be very good at bringing attention to themselves -- to the point where they oftentimes seem obnoxious. The world has always contained some element of climbers, but their presence has probably never been more obvious than it is today. Tools like social media place their self-promotional bids for applause on Facebook and their insufferable efforts to grow their networks on LinkedIn. ■ An under-appreciated challenge of the modern era is to try to corral and channel the efforts of climbers into constructive purposes for other people and institutions, without losing sight of the fact that plenty of people who actually do laudable and useful work are terrible at self-promotion. ■ The people who do the heavy lifting in many institutions rarely want to spend their time "building a personal brand" or becoming "influencers". A person's influence on the world shouldn't be measured by their ability to get in front of other people, but rather by their actual capacity to get useful things done. As a matter of societal self-preservation, we need to be able to distinguish between the two things.

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