I grew up believing that real, substantial, “big-time” success in the business world is only available to mean, ruthless people willing to win at the other’s expense and that my honesty and tendency to show compassion for others would ultimately shorten my career path. Like you, perhaps, I was led to believe that there is only so much “stuff” (e.g. money, wealth, property, market) to go around and that “winning” in the business world was about eliminating competition and climbing over bodies to get to the top (not literally, of course.) And, it was about grabbing as much of the available “stuff” as possible on the way.
I started my corporate career with one of the largest accounting firms in the world. Despite the existence of a well-worn career path in that firm, from new employee to partner, I was pretty much resigned to achieving minimal success in the business world because I refused to join the ranks of the mad dogs in the dog-eat-dog business world – people that endeavored to climb to the top of the corporate ladder.
My views about my career path changed, however, when I encountered Tim Sander’s book Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends. In Love is the Killer App, Sanders promotes a new way to succeed in the business world, a way that calls for business professionals to share their intangibles: their knowledge, their network, and their compassion. He refers to this way of being in the business world as “the Lovecat Way.”