I remember a really funny scene from Madagascar 2, when one of the penguins, having the certainty he has made a lot of money, commands one of his subordinates to order a private jet made of pure gold. The subordinate points out that a jet made of gold will not fly, and as a reply the first penguin says: ‘We’re rich, the laws of physics don’t apply to us!’
Not too long ago I came across a few people who resembled the dear penguin I just mentioned, only if it’s not a cartoon and you’re not a fictional character, I don’t think you can pass as funny when you’re absurdly arrogant because of financial gains. Any individual should be proud when they succeed, as that is what anyone thrives for. But there is a fine balance between pride and ridicule nowadays that I have had the unfortunate chance to see that for myself a number of times.
I’m referring here to business owners who truly believe that the laws of common sense don’t apply to them because they’re rich. Whether mocking applicants to jobs publicly via Twitter or making advances to the young female interviewees to test them (or with other purposes in mind), I’ve seen and heard it all. Most often, the recent graduates lack the confidence or knowledge necessary to make perfect applications or perform well in an interview. But nearly everyone’s been in that position in the early onsets of their careers and a career path is nothing but a series of learning opportunities. There are a few things however that I would have honestly preferred never to learn, like the lack of humanity that financial advantages creates.
Steve Jobs, Lady Di, Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Nelson Mandela and pope John Paul the 2nd. What did these people have in common? They retained their humility and common sense irrespective of their status, fame and wealth. They are (or sadly, some were) first and foremost people that everyone can look up to, can relate to and from whom lessons can be learned about how to succeed, survive difficult times and face challenges. Truth be told, nobody admires one’s bank account, everyone admires the human behind it.
Losing your common sense will greatly impact on your reputation and take it from me, looking at examples of rich people who have never made history, you’re leaving no legacy behind if your bank account has ten 0s. And that is what success still truly means in the world, being remembered decades after your passing.
So hop off that pedestal made of £ and have a look at your behaviour and the way in which you relate to people before you start your Tuesday. It’s never too late.