Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!
There is a scene towards the end of K-Man’s currently favorite movie Polar Express where Santa is about to select one kid to receive the first gift of that Christmas. One of the kids (voiced by the same guy who played “Eugene Felnic” in Grease) obnoxiously tries to get Santa to bestow the honor on him with a Horshack-like chorus of “pick me! pick me! pick me!” Of course Santa doesn’t pick him. He picks the boy who is quietly taking it all in as he comes to terms with Santa’s existence. I much prefer to be that latter boy.
But I am in the midst of doing some networking that requires me to talk about how “great” I am, and I am suffering from some cognitive dissonance about the whole thing. The dissonance comes not from whether I really think I am that good. I do. It comes from a belief that going around telling everyone about how good you are (like a Big 12 South team trying to convince pollsters) is unappealing at best. It feels so fake. Rather than be the annoying guy asking to be picked, I’d prefer to let my work speak for itself and “get picked.”
But I’m told it’s not as passive a process as that. I need to actively sell what I can do and how I can benefit another organization. That’s just sort of how it works. So I guess I have no choice. But to be believable, I need to find some level of congruence on what I believe about myself and the manner in which I convey that to others in this networking process.