ImageThe ‘A-Team’ (no not the TV  of the 1980s) is the envy of most kids in school.  They are the ones who are the sports heros, cheerleaders and generally popular segment.  While the ‘A -Team’ is in the limelight the rest of the school community moves on with surviving.  Whether this means not being on the receiving end of bullying or simply carving out their own unique sub-culture (like the Nerds) it is nonetheless individuals striving to survive.  Its not easy for a young person to shift focus from being a part or not necessarily having outward traits that make them popular to one where its coming more from the soul.  We have all seen many who resort to outlandish behavior like being the ‘class clown’ to those achieving ‘academic excellence’.  But given that both of these require a certain level of talent it still leaves us with a relatively large group still struggling to just survive.

Fast Forward

ImageGraduation is a welcome relief for many.  No longer beset with possibly years of peer pressure we have the opportunity to start anew.  Those on the ‘A-team’ start to appreciate that becoming a member of society won’t bring them the accolades that had and now seek. Some will move on and flourish in their own small circle of self-acclaimed club.  Often members will feed off the success of others because their have yet to develop the sense of survival, creativity and humility necessary to become effective contributors to society.  Those that are successful realize that bring along the troupe is excess baggage.  Others who have overcome personal hardship, despite their popularity, quickly adapt because the are able to respond humbly and develop an understanding for the rest of society.  The others will struggle with depression, confusion, indecision, wanderlust and even more damaging solutions that destroy not only themselves but those around them.

Business Bullies

ImageProbably the most dangerous beasts on the earth are the ‘business bully’.  Members of the ‘A-Team’ who are there, possibly with money, are privileged to named universities and contacts that are often outside of the reach for the rest of us.  The parents may have even been ‘A-Teamers’ who are passing the behavior on to the offspring.  Leaving university they are given channels of opportunity those this privileged network and their careers are on the way.  Yet they are immature in their understanding of real survival, innovation, compassion, humility and drive for the benefit of those (other than themselves.  If you have ever been in meetings with these individuals they use their power like a knife.  The swing it around the room looking to show their strength, power and flaccid ignorance.  Our first reaction to revert back to our early year behavior… retract and accept.  But is that the right thing to do?  It does provide us with breathing room to contemplate an approach in dealing with these sorts of individuals.  Remember allot of the ‘A-Team’ has to do with ego, so we need to feed but not encourage this.  We need to quickly establish HOW we can help continue with their success but also make them clearly understand without you this cannot take place in a definitively certain way.  Sure there may be others who can help to bolster their facade, just like the class clowns, but this program of success can continue for a certain amount of time.  There are numerous stories of rise to fail examples in which the ‘A Team’ become non-existent.  For example, numerous times parents who have built successful businesses that are then passed on to their children find them driving it into the ground.  Its no longer a case of popularity its a case of understanding those core principals that everyone else has had to rely upon (survival, creativity, innovation, knowledge, sensitivity).

Parenthetically, planning often follows a quite similar pattern in terms of durable and achievable success.  As we all know, mission critical planning commands the need for a backup plan (called ‘Plan B’ and our primary one ‘Plan A’.  We often encounter that our primary plan needs to shift to our ‘Plan B’, but why?  They suffer from a lack of reality, a lack of universal endorsement and in general allot about form but not about substance.  ‘Plan B’ because it is the safety net focuses on the depth of content and the appreciation of  the unknowns.

The Hidden Society

ImageLet us be careful to realize that there are people within the ‘non-A Team’ that can be afflicted with the ‘want to be disease’.  We have all had it, we seek and relish the endearment of the ‘A-Team’.  Even the slightest entry opportunity becomes an ambition to do most anything to become a part of this elite group.  We all learn much later that this is a bit ridiculous and that we should simply be ourselves and that our true values are etched in our heart and not in the acclaim of others.

Everyone should have aspirations, they drive our efforts.  In doing so we have to channel our energies towards their goals but realize that 80% rests in your hands and 20% rests, not with people, but with the nobility of the effort.  If its all about you ongoing success and mental contentment will not be achieved… this is FACT and not conjecture.  You may get that job promotion but are your really ready for it or have you just painted yourself into a situation that will either require more work or is doomed for failure?

Epilog

ImageOn a personal note I always wanted to be an ‘A-Team’ member.  Connection and endearment would have been automatic, and all of this would have created a perceived level of endowed opportunity.  But this wasn’t the case… I was a ‘B-Teamer’.  I came to realize this and I later learned to really appreciate my achievements but also better understand my shortcomings.  It permitted me to have determination, commitment, humility, innovative thinking and drive in achieving solution results.   I think as parents we also are able to help our offspring to understand real values vs. artificial (often instantaneous gratification) ones.  As business owners, entrepreneurs, serial innovators and employees the ‘B-Team’ is the backbone of the corporate movement.  Sure we may find those ‘A-Team’ individuals still basking in the glories of years past, wielding the sword of supremacy, but our shield is within us.  Reality TV feeds off the ‘A-Team’, you hear people expound on what they will do, how they will win and bash everyone around them.  Often the case they are the ones who are looked upon as the fools when the ‘B-Team’ person achieves the prized goal.  So in closing just simply be yourself and work hard to develop what really matters on the inside and not on the outside.

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