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First Win at home before you conquer the world

Updated: Oct 16, 2020

Story: Prerna, Consultant

There is a famous saying which translates as ‘First Win at home before you conquer the world’. It explains the importance of taking care of and solving home (or own) matters first before you take care of others’ matters. This holds completely true in all our corporate lives too. Rather than focusing on our own problems and weaknesses, our tendency is to look at the weaknesses of others, and sometimes we even push for helping them. Even though this scenario might represent team playing and looks good overall, in reality, there is a stark difference in everyone’s perceptions. I have faced a similar situation at my company. As a mid-size company, our group has 5 managers for handling teams, one each. Even though every team handles their own, they have been competing, be it group discussions, be it any new idea, or be it changing company policy. Even though everyone projects them to be team players, they have been competing to get a promotion in order to head all the teams.

Keeping their ambitions in mind, everyone has been trying to prove themselves as the eligible candidates for the promotion. While a few are focusing on proving eligibility based on their strengths, others are depending on the weakness of the competing candidates.

They tactfully slip in the problems of other manager’s (hypothetically naming this manager - Chris) teams and highlight that it needs to be addressed immediately. In addition, Chris offers help to resolve the issue and start giving tips to overcome the problems. The irony is that Chris himself is facing similar challenges in his team. Ultimately, this backfired big time when his team’s problems surfaced. This made me realize how important it is to clear your way, your own place before it catches fire. And it is applicable in all spheres of life. Isn’t it?

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