I like the little guy. Well, let me clarify the type of little guy I mean.
I don’t mean the little guy who gets a job as a cop or other authority figure and flagrantly flashes his gun just to prove he’s now a big guy. No one likes that little guy. And I don’t mean the little guy that says nasty things in our heads, the little guy who’s the nerdy know-it-all type or the little guy garden gnomes that are so horrendous you have to wonder why anyone would want them anywhere near their home, never mind their very own yard.
No one likes those little guys, either.
The little guy to which I’m referring is the likeable, or even love-able, underdog. Underdogs typically have a tough path to follow yet they bound down it with flair. They are generally scrappy, savvy , crafty and have learned how to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds.
They have to or they would be gobbled up in a millisecond by all the gargantuan guys out there.
So why am I telling you all this? Because it’s high time to hail the underdog!
I especially feel this way because my adoration for the underdog has largely shaped my career. Rather than chomping at the bit for the biggest window office with the biggest corporation, as most career-focused professionals do, I’ve instead focused my efforts with the underdog.
Sure, I may have not have gotten the biggest window office, or even a window anywhere near my desk, but I have learned many fine lessons from working with the underdog, lessons that stick with me no matter where I land.
Ready? Top 3 Reasons the Underdog Rocks
– Underdogs work their fannies off. They have to. They are constantly being compared to bigger companies. While they may never be able to compete with the big boys in many arenas, they can outdo them in other areas. Besides, being on top can often mean resting on your laurels. Being No. 2, as a now-cliché car rental company ad once told us, makes the company “try harder.”
– Underdogs have the freedom to be more creative. Sprawling corporations usually have a lot of rules and an even higher number of committees, departments and vice presidents who have to approve, review, disapprove, edit or otherwise mangle any idea that gets sent down the pike. Underdogs have more freedom to go out on a limb with creative ideas – or run with something that may seem crazy but end up raking in a bushel of sales.
– Smaller can mean more personal. You can probably bet you’re going to get great service from a person who signs their actual name to an email. It may easily outrank the service you’d get from “Customer Service Associate #582.” The smaller, more intimate underdog businesses generally gives them a greater ability to provide the personal touch. And not even the most gigantic budget, business complex or window office in the world can compete with working with an underdog who truly cares.
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