The “me” economy

This graph says it all. We have become far more focussed on ourselves than on others, and the world is worse for it.

I’ve used Google’s Ngram to pull together the relative usage of the phrase “Yourself first” and “Others first” over 40 years from 2008. You can see how in 1968, the two phrases were used around the same amount, but by 2008, “Yourself first” is being used twice as much as “others first”. It doesn’t carry on beyond 2008, but I have no doubt the relative usage would be even more pronounced.

Very little annoys me more professionally than those “executive” and “life” coaches whose default mode is to focus the people they are coaching on making sure they look out for themselves first.

I’m probably a little old school in this, but I’ve found for the best members of my team (and indeed for myself) that a focus on others first not only creates more value, but is more fulfilling and indeed better serves everyone’s interests.

You will be more valuable if you create more value. You will be more fulfilled if you fulfil more for others. You will get promoted if you help others move forward. You’ll create a better company if you aim to serve others.

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