The Workplace Popularity Myth

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workplace popularity

The Workplace Popularity Myth

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Do you believe that workplace popularity works? Does popularity really matter?

Connect to one person, in one topical area on Instagram and then heart a post. Next, you’ll be amazed at how many additional people want you to follow them.

Somehow, I’ve become connected with topical areas that really don’t interest me that much. To be honest, I’m not sure how that happened.

In Search of Viral

Popularity seems like a big deal. It is a big deal for going viral. It is the picture, the video, the blog or podcast. Lots of people wanting to go viral.

There are a lot of kids playing football, baseball, or soccer in high school. A subset of those kids go on to play the sport in college. A smaller (much smaller) subset make it to the professional sport. Then a few of this very small set actually get paid really big money.

On a smaller scale the same is true. If you work in a one-hundred-person company you may be able to be one of the top three in sales, or engineering.

Is this a good place to be or should you strive for something much bigger?

Workplace Popularity

In a crowd of one hundred, you may be recognized as a best in class. Are you popular? Yes, maybe.

Things change though when you attend the national conference. Now, you are just another attendee, unrecognized as a best in class.

It seems that in today’s World too much emphasis is being placed on being popular. It is a race to clicks, likes, and recognition. Gaining you what? Popularity?

Only a very few of even the most popular will go on to something bigger.

For your career, or small business venture maybe it is better to stay focused on the smallest viable crowd. A crowd where your efforts and rewards are earned and matter more.

The big fish in the smaller pond.

Growing authentically is more powerful than dubiously.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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