LinkedIn Article They only remember your last at bat, so make it count.
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We have all seen that person who burns the midnight oil to get it done. I am referring to that person that often works in secret to ensure critical deadlines are met, taking a deeply personal interest in the work. These unsung heroes are what some may call the glue that holds key projects and even teams together. These are my observations on the subject from observing and having experienced this first hand.
Failure to get noticed and not speaking up can lead to these individuals going unnoticed and even forgotten at times. People need to be aware of this or risk burn out and potential demotivation. To make matters worst, sadly sometimes even their carefully thought out ideas are stolen, and credit for their work taken, leaving these individuals in the dark, feeling used and ultimately jaded. Real leaders need to be aware of this, pay attention, give credit due and sing their subordinates praises at the correct times.
These individuals can be fantastic team players, with their collective efforts undoubtedly factoring into the success of organizational goals and objectives. However, recognizing real talent and exceptional work is just as important. Every team has an MVP, sometimes though they are such good team players that they go unnoticed. I know I have overlooked many over the years and often have been overlooked myself.
Speaking up for yourself or letting key people know your worth/work requires you be mindful that no one truly knows what you have done but YOU. This may seem boastful to some, but what I am referring to is knowing your worth and knowing how and when to showcase it.
I learned this invaluable life lesson in my first Intro to Web Design and Graphic class a long time ago. It still amuses me that the lesson I walked away with from this class had nothing to do with Web design itself and even overshadowed the class itself looking back after all these years.
It was during our Saturday morning class…yes Saturday mornings in the Fall, with a full-time job, a wife, and kids (it was not fun taking weekend classes and the last one I ever took, but that’s another story). We were learning and creating artistic designs and graphics along with great website content (Globe Traveler Blog was my page) concepts plus layouts from Professor Donna Betancourt. We progressed by adding little details every class, tinkering away on our projects. Then it happened, we finally got to the “About Us” page of our websites that needed to be filled out.
Many wrote a sentence or two others a paragraph; eventually, the exercise was over, and Professor B walked around reading our about pages, then dropped the statement that stuck with me after all these years. She said, “if all you are worth is two sentences or a paragraph, why should I do business with you.
She went on to highlight no matter how fancy we thought our pages were; there were more fancy ones out there. No matter how unique our business ideas were, there were better funded and known ones out there. The lesson went beyond the “about” page; it wasn’t about boasting, showing off or even trying to be humble and “let the product speak for itself.”
The point was to grasp the concept that only you can showcase your worth, if not then why would anyone care what we had to say or who we were. Three simple points came out of this:
- Know your worth
- Be proud of your work
- Showcase your work
There’s no such thing as “perfect,” heck this article is far from it, but the only way to get better at anything is to show up, practice and take the good and bad and improve. I honestly don’t know what it was about her statement, but this stuck with me, and I would have to say if I had to summarize my undergraduate studies into a “top three things I learned” this concept is in that mix.
If all you are is a sentece long, why should I give you my business
Pindar, the Ancient Greek poet, captured this concept perfectly in my opinion when he wrote, “Left unsung, the noblest deed will die.” What has always been interesting to me is HOW to sing deeds the right way and ensure we are not forgotten and fade away.
- Go public
- Keep a few tricks up your sleeve
- Know when to let it go
I recommend reading her article but her perspective on how to go about doing this without violating some fundamental unspoken rules are spot on, and I think they resonate with Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, but that is for another article.
Left unsung, the noblest deed will die,
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of Vayner Media and renowned marketing influencer has asserted in many of his speeches various versions of the thought, “you’re only as good as your last…” and “people only remember your last at bat.” Many have spun this into their field (you’re only as good as your last…).
People only remember your last at bat
I take away from this that while we want to be able to make our worth known as addressed above, for many it’s their last at bat that people will remember. So to build on this concept, while you are up there call your shot and swing for the fences. We all will move on one day; your awesome supervisor will retire, your horrible boss will move on to another position, you will take on new roles and so on. With this in mind, operate in the moment, make the best of it, go all in knowing your worth and use your voice.
We all have different motivations, passion, goals, and backgrounds that shape our worldview which factors into our professional personality, but knowing your worth and ensuring you make your mark where you are is possible.
The one thing I have learned over the years working with various leaders, some great and others leaving less to be desired is simply this; we are always growing, learning and changing. There good to take away from and bad to learn from.
So my question to you is, how do you sing your deeds and ensure your last at bat is memorable?
This article is part of my efforts to share my views on various subjects I care about and have experience with as well as pushing myself to open up and write about it. If this post was helpful, feel free to click the thumbs up icon to let me know and comment. Let’s continue the conversation below; please share your thoughts below. Thanks for reading.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!
About the Author: I am not a writer in the classical sense, but I am passionate about education, leadership, technology, law enforcement, and government. I am particularly interested in furthering conversations about their relationship and how society’s shift to digital is prompting a reevaluation of our position on these topics.