• Grace Simpson

AIM TO BE ADMIRED (NOT LIKED)

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This week Amazon was named #3 on Forbes World's List of Most Admired Companies. Seeing this article this morning made me so incredibly proud to work for the company. So, of course this morning I shared my pride on LinkedIn, but this evening it has me thinking about why being admired is so important.


In my last role (at Target) the public admiration was like a roller coaster and I found myself constantly defending the brand for its actions to win back the love of the public. For example, in January my store was sold out of all children's snow gear. I did not have a boot in the store by the time the first snow hit the ground and I knew I was not getting anything else in the rest of the season. So, when guests would tell me how ridiculous this was, although I could see their point, I apologized and made sure to share the efforts the company was taking to make it right for the next season ("You know, we placed our Spring orders earlier this year" or "Yes, we have had inventory problems but we are getting back on track"). Yes, this was technically my job, however, I really cared that guests did not lose faith in the brand. I wanted the public to like Target as much as I did!


Now, being admired is not the same as being liked. Don't mix those two up. You can like people for their sense of humour, for their ability to get things done or for their unmatched stamina on the sports field. But, this does not mean you admire them. I like Britney Spears - she has had some ups and downs, but she owns her life, her music/performance style and her family. But admiration? Not quite.


To me, admiration is the positive side of jealousy. You aim to possess similar qualities to the person. You want to built a reputation the way they built a reputation. You share in their success because you want that to be your success one day. Taylor Swift is someone I admire. Taylor fights for what she believes in (think Apple Music), celebrates the success of others (think this adorable post about Ed Sheeran) and waits for the right moment to graciously make her point (think Kayne and the Grammy's call out).


I liked Target. But I admire Amazon (and apparently so does everyone else).


Who do you admire at work? Why do you admire them? While you should always be your own person, finding someone that possess qualities you want to attain can be helpful when setting personal development goals. At work right now, I admire a peer for her ability to build strong relationships while being able to express her opinion boldly (not an easy combination!).


Ps. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love Britney (you could save I am a slave to her...), but I used her to really emphasize my point between like and admiration!

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