I spoke in my stories today about a rule of a life I learnt, through years of experience working in the corporate world and business. The rule “Don’t Outshine The Master”.
The story idea came after my business Delta & Co got blocked by a couple of businesses who also sell jewellery, on Instagram.
And it got me wondering why on earth they would block a little business like mine, especially with the huge number of followings they have, and also while operating within a different market.
It got me thinking about a rule I learnt while working in the corporate world and business, a rule that is just as applicable today as it was back in the olden days.
The rule “Don’t outshine the master”
It’s a rule that we all know about but it isn’t spoken about openly, as it makes us feel very petty and yucky, a part of human nature we don’t want to acknowledge.
A rule that defines the power plays within society and our interactions with others, whether in business, the corporate world, or even within families.
There is always a MASTER - the head of the pack, who has risen the ranks and holds the position of power.
We all know them, it could be your boss, the matriarch of a family, the more established brand or the social media star.
And these people, are generally quiet insecure in their position, as they are fully aware that there are other people vying for their spot at the top, trying to de-throne them, and topple their stranglehold.
And it’s been like this since the dawn of time!
The King back in the day were very insecure individuals and routinely chopped peoples heads off or exiled them if they got too cocky or began to outshine them.
So being a rising star within the kingdom was a precarious position, you wanted to shine and grow but without garnering dangerous attention from those above you. Or watch out!
Fast forward 1000's of years, and people haven’ t change AT ALL.
We are still as insecure as ever and easily threatened by upstarts (“newbies”) who are starting to shine.
And us upstarts? What are we to do?
Well, upstarts by nature can be a little naive (from lack of life experience).
We believe that by being funny, interesting and amazing will help you win the attention and approval from those above you.
This couldn’t be further from the truth.
In fact, this is an extremely dangerous strategy if you lived in the olden days you might get your head chopped off.
So what is a little upstart to do?
“Don’t outshine the master”.
BUT - obviously you need to be amazing or you are doomed to go no where, unless….
By shining you are helping the master SHINE.
Give credit to him/her, use your talent, ability, skill and intellect to make your master look more brilliant so they keep you around because you make them look BETTER (not worse) and not banish you to a remote island.
And as you do this, you can improve your position and rise the ranks without garnering dangerous negative attention from those above you.
Or, you can go all out and start a war (I will talk about this strategy later ;)