Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Important Are Past Achievements?

If you measure the worth of a person, do you measure him for what he has done, or what he is about to do?

Resumes are set ablaze with any iota of achievements and accomplishments. Many interviewees learn to play up their strengths and nullify their weaknesses. Certainly, the extreme version is when embellishments and selective deletion either makes for a fascinating candidate or a dubious and suspiciously ‘too good to be true’. You may be familiar with the saying: If it is too good to be true, then it’s too good to be true.

Yet, having observed these through anecdotal evidence and first-hand accounts, enhancing your resume is vastly different from padding your LinkedIn ‘work history’ or updating your Facebook profile page. As you design personal and professional challenges and achieve your goals/outcomes, these add on to your value of your credibility. Credibility involves experience and expertise. How much are you doing to develop both dimensions of your persona and stature?

In recent days of the London Olympics 2012, we have noticed how in the choppy, equal-lane, world of swimming two main messages. Firstly, how quickly it is for audiences and fans to dismiss a champion’s past performance because of failure to meet expectations. Secondly, consider how an emerging champion is questioned for their youthful potential. Either we have become cynical about human performance, or we are losing touch about the hard work and dedication each candidate has invested to build their status and reputation. Michael Phelps earned both kudos and kicks for his disappointing showing (for not bagging gold in his pet events), while the Chinese teenage-torpedo Ye Shi Wen is being suspected of using illegal sports-enhancing drugs. How does it feel to bear the weight of an entire nation that pins its hopes on you to do well, or bag a medal, or a gold medal? The shadow of other people's doubts (and even mistakes) can follow you around like Lance Armstrong, years after retiring from a marquee race. Accusations, however unjust and unfair, blemish one's reputation just because of doubt.

There is just no way to work around the doubters and the haters. Haters will always hate.

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