Monday, 7 November 2016

Self-Made Man - No Such Thing

  • Do you view yourself as a self-made man or woman? If you do, you may want to take another look in the mirror. What’s wrong with the “self-made” theory? Everything. If your pride, ego, arrogance, insecurity, or ignorance keeps you from recognizing the contributions of others, then it’s time for a wake-up call. If your hubris is overwhelming your humility then the text that follows is written just for you.
  • Real leaders don’t take credit, they give it. While I take complete responsibility for all my failures and shortcomings, I take very little credit for my own success. 
  • Virtually all of the good things that have happened to me over the years have been the result of the collaborative efforts of many. 
  • Most mature people not suffering from delusions of grandeur tend to share this perspective. Leadership isn’t about self-serving behaviors; it’s about service beyond self. It’s not about you, and when it becomes about you, trouble is not too far away.
  • All the “self-made man” propaganda floating around business circles is patently false. The myth of the self-made person is so ridiculous that it shouldn’t require shattering. 
  • Look at legends of success stories like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and a host of other inspirational stories. While I don’t question for a moment the legendary success of the aforementioned, I do question whether said success was solely a matter of “self.” Behind every success are significant investments and contributions by some if not all of the following people: family, friends, associates, protagonists, antagonists, advisors, teachers, authors, mentors, coaches, and the list could go on.

There is no such thing called 'Self made man/woman'.
Everybody is made up of several others. 

My View:
Proclaming that "I am a self made man/woman" simply means ignoring & insulting people, known and unknown, who have contributed to your growth and success. 

Dr. Satish Dhawan was Chairman ISRO in the year of 1975. APJ Abdul Kalam was the director of a SLV mission, the mission failed to launch the satellite in the orbit. Instead it was put into Bay of Bengal. Satish Dhawan being the chairman at the time, called Abdul Kalam and conveyed to press "We failed! But I have a very good trust in my team that next time we will be succeeding for sure". This surprised Abdul Kalam as the blame of the failure was taken by the chairman of ISRO. The next mission was prepared and launched successfully on 1980. At this moment of success, Satish Dhawan told Abdul Kalam to attend the press meet without his presence. When the team failed, he took the blame. But when the team succeeded, he redirected the success to his team, thus portraying the picture of a true leader as cited by APJ Abdul Kalam. 

As a tribute to leadership of Satish Shawan, Sriharikota High Altitude Range (SHAR) was renamed as Satish Dhawan Space Centre in 2002.


  1. "Self made man" was originally used in late 1800s and is recorded as a part of a lecture by Benjamin Franklin.
    Since then there have been different opinions on the definitions.
    Franklin Douglass had clarified "Properly speaking, there are in the world no such men as self-made men." before giving his definition of "self made man".

    In today's world; less literate people use their own limited understanding of the English language and describe themselves as "self made". It just shows their EQ and IQ.
    If self made man is used to declare that a person need not be grateful to anyone for his success then they do not understand the meaning of success.
    "the principles of honor, integrity and affection" are the essential prerequisite for enduring success.

    1. I often hear from first generation neo rich men proudly proclaiming that "I am a self made man" and I feel sad for their ignorance. The more one learns, the more he/she learns how much little he/she knows and makes them humble. Lacking humility any fellow is worthless and is unworthy of any position in public domain.