Question from a reader --
"Quick question (maybe not quick answer)
Some people that are very successful attract respect and devotion. Other people that are very successful attract jealousy. What's is the difference in the behaviour of the successful individual?
If I want to succeed in the long run, I prefer the former.
My guess. Maybe humility and value sharing play a part... or is this something not to be concerned about?
Actually, the answer is pretty quick -- it's about how you make others feel.
A few days I posted a quote from Thoreau:
> “Maturity is when all of your mirrors turn into windows.” -- Thoreau
The fact is, it's not your behavior or what you do or who you are that makes a person respect you, or be jealous of you, or love you, or hate you, or anything -- it's not your behavior at all, except indirectly. Rather, it's how they perceive you, and then how they feel about you, that marks how other people react to you.
To that end, it's worth noting that depending on what you're doing, it might not actually be possible to not provoke jealousy. If you're playing professional sports, you're almost certain to be envied or hated by the rival team. A very few people can transcend this, but it's typically not possible unless you've got a naturally incredibly intense work ethic and incredible charisma.
Take the New York Yankees. Red Sox hate pretty much all Yankees, except (maybe) Mariano Rivera, and a few years ago, Hideki Matsui. Both worked very hard, and both were naturally extraordinarily charismatic.
That kind of work ethic and charisma are to some extent inborn... the vast majority of players who play for the Yankees will be disliked by Red Sox fans, regardless of who they are and how they do. In fact, for particularly fiery competitors, a big key to their strength in play will generate the hostility.
Likewise, if you're doing any sort of finance and you out-perform, you'll face jealousy and dislike. Sure, you can do some things to mitigate it. And perhaps a few financial investing approaches won't attract jealousy -- like Buffet's of buy-good-things-with-good-management-and-hold-a-long-time. But if you're doing anything that remotely looks like efficiency-building or arbitrage, you're guaranteed to be hated by the people you're running into.
So, the answer on the surface is simple -- if you don't want to be envied, don't make people feel envious. In practice, that might not be the top goal you'd want to pursue... some arenas (most?) nearly guarantee envy to people successful in them, at least from some people.
Rather, I think you'd do well to define the people who want to interact with that you respect, and look to be respected by them in turn. The criteria for that tends to be more based in performance and just carrying yourself with decent dignity and care... while Red Sox fans dislike many players on the Yankees, they probably respect a majority of them for their excellent play. People hated in finance are still probably grudgingly respected by their peers in finance, so long as they have a bit of dignity about them.
Respect by people you respect yourself seems much more consistently achievable than respect by everyone, or non-jealousy and non-envy.
He was an American guy, fresh out of university, doing some mix of public relations and something like espionage for the Chinese government in Shanghai. Interesting guy - I'd been shooting pool by myself and he asked if I'd be up for a game. Sure.
So we chatted - he was in Shanghai to go through the Expo and talk to everyone foreign about their experiences. Being a young, white, American guy with a light East Coast accent, he blended in and was basically invisible. He was able to get an impression of what journalists really thought and people at the Expo really thought. He was getting paid decently for this and having a really fun time.
He added that he wasn't just there to make sure the publicity for the Expo was good: When he reported in that a number of people felt that workmanship setting up their display areas was shoddy and the local contractors had cheated them, Shanghai officials reached out to them, made it right, and took the contractors to task.
He seemed like a solid guy, athletic, hard working, smart, well read - kind of guy that's going to do a lot in life. I used to live in Boston, so I asked him if he followed the Red Sox or Celtics.
I still remember his answer. "No, I don't like spectator sports. Playing sports, sure. Spectator sports, no."
Last season, I was bored one day and decided I would start following an MLB team. After spending a few hours online and eliminating teams, I settled on the Boston Red Sox. They ended up finishing 69-93, their worst record since 1965. Drama encompassed the season, leading to the firing of manager Bobby Valentine right after the end. A significant portion of the team was loaded off close to the end of the season in order to create a new imagine of the team.
Now, I completely admit that I am more of an "artificial" fan, but that won't stop me from supporting them this upcoming season. As the 2013 season is about to begin, it's about time I give a little preview of what to expect for the Red Sox. I know there has already been a few games played, but screw it.
Last season, the Red Sox had a 5.19 ERA, good for fourth worst in the league. The introduction of manager John Farrell (former Toronto Blue Jays manger) shows a sign to help the Red Sox become a better pitching team. Farrell used to be the pitching coach of the Red Sox under Terry Francona and is hence familiar with the organization. Ryan Dempster from the Texas Rangers will be the only new face in the starting rotation that also consists of Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey, and "ace" Jon Lester.