Tino’s Corner: Killing the “I”

Tino MantellaBy Tino Mantella

TLG President & CEO

Can you point to any achievement you’ve accomplished exclusively on your own? I can’t.

From my birth (thanks, mom and dad) to education, athletics, parenting, and career – everything I have done has been influenced, ideated, and supported by others. If you feel the same way, it begs the question – why hoard the credit? There are a multitude of reasons.

First and foremost, it makes us feel good. Psychologists tell us that keeping a positive view of oneself can decrease stress. In the work environment, we want our supervisors, peers, and even direct reports to observe our value. In our minds, this could lead to a raise, a promotion, or a status bump.

When I was President & CEO of the Arthritis Foundation, the company gave away millions of research dollars every year. Our collective aspiration was to enhance the health and wellness of millions of people debilitated by an arthritic disease. What I personally observed is that researchers regularly saw themselves as a cog in the wheel of discovery. Often, they didn’t even plan to find a cure. They built on past research and understood that their contribution was a gift to scientists that would follow.

Perhaps, as one matures, there is growing wisdom that sincerely giving away credit will go much further to building a team of motivated members. “I” can be seen as a four-letter word in more cases than not. At the end of the day, it’s about “we and not me.”



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