Stop being a selfish bastard

Eric Ho
Table of Contents

Apparently I need to stop being a selfish bastard.

Maybe you agree?

For some of you who have worked with me, perhaps you’re nodding your head. Vigorously.


It was time for a change.

As a lawyer trained to make sense of 5000 pages to come up with a litigation-avoiding answer to a client’s intractable problem in a split millisecond, it landed – like Apollo on the Moon: success with trepidation.

For these were the words of my coach, Chris Joseph: “Stop being a selfish bastard”.

They were spoken in a warm tone as plaintively as the words of an evensong psalm. 

My inner narrative storyteller – the perfectionist, lawyer-trained Eric – was bristling. Because it had caught hold of the real meaning.

“But I’m NOT a selfish bastard…”, I thought.  (So why do you think I’m selfish – thinking to myself, sotto voce)”

This IS an article about me.

And I apologise for that.

Sort of.

The truth is I feel conflicted because the folks who have taught me what I know about marketing have shown me that I should not turn marketing into a focus on “me, me, me”.

But this IS about me because this lack of selfishness is exactly what I see in the heart-centred professionals and entrepreneurs I work with. 

I see it also in the patients I work with who have multiple chronic diseases like neurodegenerative brain conditions (like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s) or obesity or type 2 diabetes.

We aren’t selfish enough.

But not in the way you might think.

The people I work with have hearts of gold. I do too (I’m sure I got that from the warmth of heart that my parents and family have – said sotto voce, of course.)

No, we are not selfish to ourselves.

We put others first.

We succeed at work at the expense of success in our health and wellbeing.

It nudges us to gain success at the expense of others failing. Yet what if our success could lead to others being successful themselves?

The ripple effect of our mood, our influence, our impact on others being a “symptom” of our own success, rather than an either-or equation.

What’s the impact you could have if you were the leader you know you can be?

How will your team feel?

What will the naysayers think about your leadership?

It’s time to be a bit more selfish, don’t you think?

Time to prioritise yourself.

Time to let yourself win at the same as others winning too.

It’s time to be the real you.

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