Fake it 'till you make it
I recently started to intern with a social worker in continuing care. While we were on our way to a meeting, an individual of a higher position stopped to tell her they need her to finish a task for them immediately. With a smile on her face, she reassured them that it was no trouble and it would be completed on time. After that individual walked away, she turned to me and said "Whatever you do, fake it 'till you make it". I smiled, and we went on our way to complete the pressing task. It seems as though it truly is becoming about who you know, and the relationship that is established with people in higher power.
After hearing her say that, I remembered the leader-member exchange theory. According to lesson 8, "LMX says that leadership is a process that is centered on the interactions between leaders and followers. The relationship between leaders and followers is at the heart of the leadership process" (PSU WC, L 8, p. 3). The LMX theory focuses on their being an in-group and out-group. The "in-group" consists of the followers who are willing to go above the minimal duties for the leader, while the "out-group" does not strive to go above and beyond, they meet the standards and call it a day (Northouse, 2013). Going back to when the social worker told me "Fake it 'till you make it," I feel it ties in with the LMX theory. Consistently, people are exceeding their duties, and we are always told that hard work pays off, but does it?
My mother worked for a company for several years, and was happy enough. She was given great benefits and had a good relationship with people high in the company. However, when she applied for a higher position it was given to an outside applicant. After meeting with the person who was offered the position, she learned that the individual was a longtime friend of the CEO. So, I consider maybe the opportunities are with who you know, and not what you know. Whether you are a part of the in-group, or networking, opportunities seem to be based on the level of relationship with ones leader.
Northouse, P. G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and practice, (6th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Penn State World Campus (2013). PSYCH 485 Lesson 8: Leadership in Work Settings. Retrieved on June 9, 2013, from https://courses.worldcampus.psu.edu/su13/psych485/001/content/08_lesson/03_page.html