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  • A Deal with the “Devil”

    What would you do if the devil offered you superfluous reward, but for the price of your soul?

    What will you do to become, who you most want to be? Will you lie, cheat and steal, or will you stay within an appropriate process – – will you be patient or provocative – will you force an outcome or embrace an organic path – will you be a complement to something bigger than yourself or dominant over something beneath you?

    Most people intimate that nine out of ten times, they will do the right thing, yet when the reality of an opportunity arises – when that tenth time pops up, and it will – that’s when it gets complicated. I don’t know if people lean the wrong way, due to its access and convenience, its excitement – or because of misplaced ambition, which demand that they get where they want, immediately, and by any means necessary.

    Most of you know the story of Faust, the highly successful scholar, who was unsatisfied with his life, and made a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures.

    Have you had a Faust moment; what would you do if the devil offered you superfluous reward, but for the price of your soul – an interesting proposition — right?

    It’s my opinion that as contributors to a world greater than ourselves, Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals members should move through faith, not faith designated within organized religion, but faith, a “just” belief – a belief in purpose and path — in what’s right, because it’s right, not right because of the reward. Thinking about Faust or Faith, if I were to give some advice – what would I say – this is what I came up with;

    The first thing I would suggest is perspective; what is your vision, why do you want what you want, and how will you go about attaining it. This stage is important, because it makes you go through the “valuation” process; is what you want valuable enough to be patient and process-oriented, or is it something other than that, which might make you open to cutting corners.

    What are the steps to achieving your ambitions – what is the way forward? I read a great book about how to construct a path toward your goals, which could be for any type of path or change, whether in business, teaching a class or raising a family. Pick up a copy of Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard. Switch asks the following question, “Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities and in our own lives?” It’s a great resource to change your path to discover your best self – to also discover the best in others.

    When the opportunity to cut corners comes, and again, it will come, will you take the bait, or will you stick to your plan. Realistically, shortcuts are enticing – lustily attractive, but very rarely do they end how they are projected. I know ethics, principles and mores, sound like your grandfather’s generation, not very sexy, but some things never lose their value – some things inexorably make the value of the thing more valuable. The more you move through and value principled proposition, the more perspective you will have towards what’s right for you, and why it’s right for you.

    What will define you; at the end of the day, the bottom-line is always the bottom-line. Will you just get it done or get it done well? Is it excellence or expediency – amazing or average? Will you join the company or redefine it? Will you innovate, create new processes, new metrics – will you reframe the conversation and capture your moment, and how will you “breakthrough”, so that we can all live in the future, “now”?

    Will you let the process take its natural course, or will you compromise it for convenience? Will you afford yourself the learning that comes between the beginning and the end of something, or will you influence an unnatural outcome. Does it matter how you get to the end, or does the end justify the means?

    Okay, you’ve arrived or you might be on your way – – what happens after you claim the prize – does it become a succession of prizes or do you build something amazing? Have you considered amazing, or only money? Whether or not you consider situations that are bigger than you, tells a lot about you, and whether you just want talk about doing something important, or actually get something important done, tells even more.

    If you don’t need credit for doing the right thing or credit for being a good person, you will do well. I have found that giving is an ethereal process – one that makes the benefactor, at times, feel almost as good as the beneficiary. There is hope, consideration, compassion, innovation and gentleness in our service to others, to our communities – to world we share with all other socieites.

    When you finally find out that “it’s not all about you”, you will be ready to lead, and most surprisingly to you, they will be ready to follow.

    Good luck.

    Calvin Wilson
    Founder and CEO
    Upstart: Business and Management for 20-40 Year Old Professionals

    Filed Under: Gamechangers


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