‘Taking advantage (because you can)’ is a very popular strategy to win for bad actor types.
To take advantage of someone is usually to unfairly get what you want from someone who is easily persuaded to help you, trust you, or do things for you.
Bad actors don’t care about building a relationship with you unless it means they will win. Their goal is to take advantage of your generosity, support, knowledge, skill set- whatever it is they need to get farther ahead without you. Or more simply put: to use you for what they want and when they are through, not choose to elevate you both for the relationship you have built through shared understanding and collaboration, but instead to throw you to the curb.
In healthy cultures, people rise by elevating others and fall by undermining others.
In toxic cultures, people are forced to choose between helping others and achieving success’ says Adam Grant.
How true these words are. Which kind of culture are we in now?
What Adam Grant infers is that in a healthy culture: ‘If you undermine others, society/your community will punish you by making sure your status falls so that you will be seen for who you are.‘
In an unhealthy culture: ‘To achieve success, you will choose to take advantage of others and undermine them by doing so. And, if you choose to help others, instead, you are opening yourself up to be taken from so you will never achieve success because those are the rules in an unhealthy culture.‘
Which do you see more of happening around you? And how do we stop unhealthy cultures from growing?
To me, when others tell me it’s better’ to remain silent and ‘trust karma’ will catch up to them, I think that response is making them complicit. While I didn’t always think this way, I do now because over the years I have learned that if you don’t say anything they will absolutely have an even greater likelihood of completely running over you and anyone else you know.
We need to embrace a healthy culture which would expose those for seeking an advantage by undermining others. And in turn, we need to elevate and praise those who are helping others to rise. Because if we don’t, we are condoning this kind of behavior and inviting more of it.
So be brave. Show up and let others know you know who they really are. This is how a much healthier culture is formed.
To your highest purpose and best self,
Lisa Canning Linkedin