Who are you at work? How do you know? You are probably one of four people:
- Me First
- Me Too
I found these four divisions in a Facebook post about Carl F. Spaatz at Together We Served. They also posted the picture above. (Remember when smoking was okay because we didn’t know about the health risks?) Dwight Eisenhower lauded Spaatz, commander of Army Air Forces in Europe, as one of the two men who contributed most to victory in Europe during WWII.
Spaatz explained it to one airman like this…
“You are among the minority, the Dedicated. Stick with them, search them out, and work hard to be worthy of their company. You won’t be popular with a lot of your bosses who act dedicated but really aren’t and that can make life difficult at times.
Beware of the Deadwood. Most of them mean well and, in their own way, try hard, are loyal, and are even useful. But too often they’ll botch things up and get you and your outfit in trouble.
Watch out for the Me-Tooers. These guys will tell you whatever they think you want to hear. They borrow thoughts and ideas from others and present them to you as though they were their own. They are the opportunists who look for every avenue to advance themselves without sticking their own necks out. They ride someone’s coattails and try to make themselves indispensable to the boss. Believe me, they are not to be trusted. You don’t want yes-men around you, but you can’t always avoid them.
The worst and most dangerous are the Me-Firsters. Most of them are intelligent and totally ruthless. They use the service for their own gain and will not hesitate to stick a knife in your back at the slightest indication you might stand in their way. They seem arrogant, but don’t be fooled. They are really completely lacking in true self-confidence.”
Which one are you?
On the one hand you could read these categories and say, “Wow, I know those people he’s talking about!” On the other hand you might say, “Which category am I in? How would I know?” Does the ruthless Me-Firster, see it when looking in the mirror? What is the difference between the Dedicated and the Me-Tooer? Would someone tell me if I was Deadwood?
There is only one good category to be in according to Spaatz. We want to be Dedicated.
But how? Here’s one answer: The Dedicated cling to humility to turn from their tendencies toward the other three categories. No one is Dedicated all the time. Sometimes the Dedicated lack expertise or skill. That makes them Deadwood. In humility they either get help or remove themselves from the equation. The Dedicated look for opportunity and borrow the ideas of others just like the Me-Tooer, but in humility they give credit where credit is due. Finally, the Dedicated reject ruthless gain at another’s expense because they have compassion on the people all around them. The trap of a Me-First mentality is overcome by the power of humility.
Proverbs 11:2 states, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.”
Where have you caught a vision of humility great enough to move you from being Deadwood to being Dedicated?