By | Dr Marshall Goldsmith | #1 Leadership Thinker, Exec Coach, NYT Bestselling Author. Dartmouth Tuck Professor Mgmt Practice
One of the foremost authorities on career guidance, my good friend Dr. Steven Berglas has a new book out, Stay Hungry and Kick Burnout in the Butt. With this new book, Steve shows us how to find passion and renewed energy through our work. I’m excited about this topic, so I interviewed him recently. Below is an excerpt from our interview in which Steve reveals how something that many of us have experienced that is often seen as a negative can be turned into a positive.
Marshall: Steve, in your new book you talk about something that could be negative – this need some of us have of, “I’ll show you a thing or two,” – and how it can be turned into a positive. Can you give us a little explanation about that?
Steve: Absolutely. Let me give you the prototype of this which is Ben Franklin. Ben Franklin was beaten by his brother, who was a printer and to whom he was indentured as a junior printer. Ben ran away. He had the courage to run away, saying, “You stinking, abusive brother. I’ll show you.” But Ben didn’t show his brother by going back to the original Massachusetts printing shop and destroying him. Instead, he said, “I’ll become the best printer in America.”
He showed his brother by becoming superb. People who seek to show others and put a face on their anger, “I’ll show that individual,” like Captain Ahab going after Moby Dick; it’s death. You never win. As Confucius said, “When seeking revenge, dig two graves.”
If instead you say, “I’m going to be the best,” then what happens is, by showing them, you are actually helping myriad people live a better life, which is what Franklin did.
Marshall: I love this, Michael Jordan the same thing. Cut from the team, he said, “I’ll show you.” In a positive way though. Not a negative attacking, vindictive way. So, I love the way in your new book you talk about that feeling of, “I’ll show you” in a positive way, how we can cycle that what could be negative energy or anger into a very positive, motivational factor that says, “Look, I believe I can do it. I’ve been told I can’t, I’m going to show the world I can.” This is a fantastic and positive spin on what could be a very negative focus. Thank you!