Defined Sight

Personal Development Blog

Building Up Others In A “Me First” Era

Building Up Others in a Me First Era

For the past year or so, I’ve had the pleasure of “grooming” a youngster fresh out of college to do IT work for my current employer. He’s a very nice kid with the right attitude and is very sincere and appreciates the tutelage. But he is green as the day is long.

There are times when I get frustrated, when I don’t think things that I say are sinking in. I’ve had to talk my boss off the ledge many times from either yelling or firing him. Why do I do that? Well, I remember how bad I was at my first tech job out of college. Work experience is king and at that time, I had none. Thankfully that was a few employers ago so my boss had no idea but I made sure to tell him as I didn’t want him to expect the world out of the kid right off the bat.

I genuinely want my young protege to succeed. Even though I work remotely now, I’ve told him he can call me anytime with questions and I’ll be glad to help him out. Truth be told, I’ve even shouldered the blame for some of his errors just to take the heat off of him. I wouldn’t always recommend this unless you are rock solid with your supervisor by the way. After being around the employment block a time or two and seeing some selfish fellow employees only lookout for themselves, I’m focused on building up others.

Building Up Others Builds Your Own Success

Since that rocky period of my boss wanting to go medieval on the new guy, he’s actually been quite happy with his work lately. My boss is a great person and he’s thanked me for calming him down during those moments. He actually commended me for the way I coached up the newbie during my last performance review. My boss noted that he was confident that the other person in our department wouldn’t have done so well if the training responsibility was theirs.

People in the organization catch wind of this too. All of sudden you are getting promoted, given bonuses, and praised by management. Trust me, employers want to keep people that are unselfish team players. They look to cut the cancerous, negativity at any chance they get. I’ve seen it firsthand.

Sometimes it’s not even about a job or a skill. It might be a lack of confidence or turmoil in some other area of life that is affecting someone. Take the time to get to know people and let them know you are there for them. Just being an ear to someone to bounce things off of makes a world of difference.

How Do You Start Building Up Others?

1. Give credit where it is due.

2. Be complimentary. If someone does a great job, let them know!

3. Don’t make someone feel bad if they mess up. They most likely know they failed, don’t pile on.

4. Share your knowledge with others.

5. Stay out of the gossip circles and don’t tear down others while promoting yourself.

Why Should You Care?

So why should you go the extra mile to help somebody else out instead of looking out for yourself? As Gary Vaynerchuk says, “Doing the right thing, is always the right thing.” Much like a chain is only as good as the weakest link, people are much the same. Do you remember playing “Red Rover” as a child with some weaklings on your line? Or have you played on a softball team with a horrible right fielder? The opposition will find the weak point and attack it over and over again. The strong and the talented owe it to the rest of the team and community to support those who are struggling.

There was a time when it was all about me. I compare it to a child who wants all of the Christmas presents and would rather receive than give. Selfishness seems to go with being young although that is not always the case as there are plenty of adults who are all about themselves. Once that stage is outgrown for most, you can truly appreciate giving and the act of building up others.

Reader Question- Have you noticed yourself caring less about self promotion as you get older? Have you made an effort to build others up? Thank you for taking the time to read and comment!


  1. Very nice post DS. It’s so true what you said “get to know the person” before piling on as they may be having personal issues and can use some kind words.

    It always pays to be nice to your colleagues as they would return a favor someday when you may need help.

    You are doing all the right things.

    Take care.

    • Mr Defined Sight

      November 29, 2017 at 8:12 am

      Thank you Mr ATM for the nice comment. You are right about “what goes around comes around.” Some will say that nice guys finish last but I’ve seen that the selfish usually get a taste of their own medicine at some point. They usually annoy the wrong person before it is all said and done. I’m just at a point to where I’d like to help others now after getting mine. Take care my friend!

  2. I totally agree that you should not expect excellence from newbies. But you also should not have to tolerate young help not learning fast. The first mistake is ok, but don’t do that again! If anything we don’t expect enough out of millennials, and that does them a disservice. I think helicopter bosses outnumber the much better tough love bosses.

    • Mr Defined Sight

      November 29, 2017 at 8:17 am

      Hi Steveark, thanks for stopping in! I’m a little more forgiving on the young I guess, especially ones with good intentions and feel bad about the mistakes. If he were a cocky kid that didn’t care, then I would be all for the boss taking more of a hard stance on him to whip him into shape. Just kind of depends on the personality that you are dealing with in my opinion.

  3. Mr. DS, I always found developing people in my work life the most rewarding part of my professional career, so I quit and went into teaching. Tom
    Tom @ Dividends Diversify recently posted…Should You Invest in the Stock Market Now?My Profile

    • Mr Defined Sight

      November 30, 2017 at 7:59 am

      Hi Tom, welcome and thanks for checking us out! That is really awesome that you went into teaching. I can understand why you went that direction, it is indeed very rewarding coaching up the youngsters. Especially when you have some good ones that really want to learn! I’ll be dropping by to check out your blog soon.

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