Like many of you in my networks, I often suffer from a lack of belief in myself. I get awkward AF when I receive a compliment and have difficulty receiving praise for my efforts.

And I know why.  

It’s because, at my core (in my soul), I still believe in the Quiet Professional ethos drilled into me during my service in Army Special Forces and within the 5th Special Forces Group. My time within these elements was spent amongst giants, professionals, and innovators.  

I often still feel unworthy of having stood amongst them.

That may sound stupid, but it’s 100% true. Praise was close to non-existent. If you were allowed to continue serving there, that was high praise indeed. We knew we had a difficult and ever-changing job to do and our duty to do it. Or go elsewhere to work.

And if you feel like challenging my use of the word “innovators,” you shouldn’t. You won’t survive in the Special Operations community unless you can problem solve, adapt (often hurriedly), and force multiply.  

These traits lead to innovation (and yes, within business as well). And if successful when innovating (unsuccessful innovation is simply failure), you win.  

And winning is often the reward.  

The best thing about a true Quiet Professional (military or civilian) is they simply get done all that needs to be done without drama and without seeking praise.

We do what we do because we are supposed to do it.  

It really is that simple.  

But that’s also the problem. The difference between me (and people like me) and non-quiet professionals is that our definition of winning differs from yours. Quite a bit. 

So, when you compliment me, you must realize that I don’t feel I’m done yet. Because I have a different threshold than you due to my background and cellular makeup.  

Don’t read into this and think I am bashing non-quiet professionals; I’m not.  

I’m just smart enough to realize there are different types of people in the world. I’m self-aware of who I am and well-traveled enough to look at things from a larger perspective.  

Some people need praise, and others… don’t.  

You may be asking yourself the point of this blog. Here it is: take a moment and think of who you are and what drives you. Then take a moment to consider who you have on your teams and your organizations and what drives them.  

If you have too much of one element and not enough of the other, you need to be more deliberate in your efforts to diversify.  

People are different. You NEED different. But know what you want and know how to best employ Quiet Professionals to start winning.

And, if you are like me, and you suffer from imposter syndrome at times, take a moment and think about the good you are doing in the world. Define it, capture it, and believe in yourself. Without you, we aren’t as good collectively as we should be.