Behind Every Success are Free-riders

"The climb to the top is hard but staying on top is indeed harder."

People naturally gravitate towards individuals or groups who are successful in their respective endeavours or fields. As the saying goes, “Everybody loves a winner.” In Philippine Politics, it has become a norm that politicians from rival parties suddenly transfer to the President’s party after the elections. In Basketball, this is true when a lot of people all of a sudden become bandwagon Cavaliers or Warriors fans during the NBA Finals. Heck, one’s good fortune from a lotto contest not only turns paper into gold but also turns foes into friends and distant relatives into close ones. Indeed, winning doesn’t only win you fame or personal glory alone. It also wins you instant relatives, friends, political allies and fans.

While winning is both a product of luck and hardwork, a bigger responsibility awaits one upon winning. By winning, one acquires a stature that must be preserved and protected at all times. By winning, one needs to maintain a certain standard of life befitting of a winner. Most importantly, by winning, one needs to develop the gift of discernment- knowing who’re there genuinely to support and who’re there solely for the purpose of taking advantage of one’s earned stature, money and credibility for self-gain.

The climb to the top is hard but staying on top is indeed harder. What makes staying atop harder is the fact that those whom you attracted as a winner can also be the reason for your downfall. This has become reality for those who weren’t careful in their judgment of people, particularly those given positions of trust and confidence. Many sports athletes have lost their star lustre over poor management by their handlers. Many politicians have lost power because of their incompetent appointees and trusted people. Many lotto winners have lost their money instantly because of financially abusive relatives and friends. When unchecked and controlled, these support groups easily contribute to a winner’s sudden destruction.

Upon winning, one assumes a bigger role of leadership in society. Therefore, a winner must be ready to accept bigger responsibilities. This includes the task to filter the people whom he/she shall give access to his/her circles if he/she is to maintain his/her status as a bonafide winner. It takes discipline in order to maintain one’s status as a winner and this discipline involves the ability to make one’s followers accountable and responsible for their actions. Winners are not only defined by their own merits but also for the doing and undoing of their own spheres of influence.

Winners must also be wary that success at times can breed a sense of dependence and worse, parasitism. Winners are supposed to create a culture of excellence and this should be the higher calling of winners. Creating and breeding a new generation of winners should be a winner’s higher purpose in life. Otherwise, if one allows himself/herself to be influenced by people with vested interests, there is indeed nowhere to go but down.
Free riders. They are everywhere. So winners, beware!


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of TheLOBBYiST.
About the Author
Mr. Aaron Benedict De Leon is currently a Business Development Practitioner in a private consulting firm. He has more than six years of professional experience in leading and managing political and non-government organizations, specializing in organizational management, policy development and program management. He has had stints with notable political/socio-civic organizations, serving in various capacities as: Secretary-General of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines (CDP) [2013-2015], Founding Chairperson of the Centrist Democratic Youth Association of the Philippines (CDYAP) [2012-2014], Philippine Representative to the International Young Democrat Union (IYDU) [2011-2012], Chairperson of the Christian Democratic Youth [2011-2012], Secretary-General of YOUTH Philippines [2010-2011], and Spokesperson/Communications Director of the GT2010 Gilbert Teodoro Presidential Campaign [2009-2010].
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