Not Everyone’s Gonna Like Ya

Posted: May 3, 2011 in It's All Important Stuff

My theory is that humans are genetically wired to seek the approval and acceptance of others.  Perhaps this is such that we can remain in the tribe and be allowed in the shelter during a storm or to jointly stave off the sabre tooth tiger attack.  This distinctly human need has driven all sorts of actions and behaviors in me.  Many of which I have spoken to in previous blog posts.

A long time ago, I was new to Cisco and leading a large global IT Team.  Our mission was to design and build web-based systems to help our HR department interview, hire and onboard 400 new employees per week.  (I told you it was a long time ago)

Each day I worked with a young lady in California named “Kelly.”  She was very good at managing up and really thought of herself as being on the fast track.  This was my first gig at a large company and with thousands of stock options and the the price rising every day, I planned to check out a very wealthy man after just a few years. To me, every day was a celebration of my future wealth and I was really diggin’ my job. Except for Kelly.  She was a pain in the ass.

We had a great team and I got along very well with everyone except Kelly.  She was simply never happy with what I said, how I said it, or how I approached problems and openly argued every single point I tried to make.  I repeatedly flew to California to work with her in person.  We went to lunch and I tried being extra nice…  Nothing worked.

One day, in utter frustration, I approached her boss who was my peer and told him this story.  His answer was very simple and profound, “Todd, not everyone’s gonna like ya!”  Yeah, Bob, but I’ve tried this and this and this.  “Yeah, Todd, not everyone’s gonna like ya.”  “Some people aren’t gonna like ya because you are too happy, too kind, too fun, whatever.” “Let it go.”

This was very difficult to accept.  It still is.  I really want everyone to like me.  In fact, I hate thinking that someone may not.  Yet, since hearing this message from Bob, I am much better at living my life by my own values and valiantly trying to let the results be what they will.  The worst scenarios are those whereby it is impossible to make everyone happy.  Frankly, I still suck at letting this go, but am still valiantly trying and am still getting better.

Related Blogs:

Harsh Truth Vs Loving Lie

Object To Focus

Shoulding On Myself

Whatever The Mind Expects, It Will Find

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