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At work and in life, all too often we hear some people who demand that they get what they desire, and they want it their way, at their time. But the truth is, how many actually deserve what they desire?

I was watching the trailer on cable about the entertainment business, and when a young upstart demanded that she get the chance to be the lead, the senior told her, that in the business, she deserve nothing, but have to wait her turn and earn everything.

How true. At work, we have our fair share of young promising upstarts who would be split into two camps – those who think they deserve everything at the starting line, and those who would quietly and steadily put in the time and effort to get jobs done.

Those who make demands before they are even useful at work, however promising, have merely shown those ahead on the ladder so honestly that they merely place the interests of their own ahead of the organization’s interests. Potential is only so useful when you are cooperative with your peers, and not so great when you are left out cold by yourself.

Conversely, there are those who either have great potential, or not so great potential, but are willing to put the needs of the organization ahead of their own. These upstarts respect those who are already there and those who are ahead on the ladder, and work with everyone in tandem. When the time is right, these young upstarts would have earned their tenure and their stripes, and earned the respect of peers and seniors, to rightfully step up the notches on the ladder. And those who unfortunately did not get the opportunity to step up the notches, their honest efforts are not unnoticed, but can be recognized happily elsewhere. No honest and consistent performance will go unnoticed in an increasingly transparent world.

On the stage, only the very best deserve to sing and perform as lead roles. But the stage is a mere tip of the colossal iceberg, and it is sustained and nourished not by the very few who are leads, but by the many who orchestrate and collaborate together on stage, off the stage, and behind the scenes, just as every member in an orchestra is valuable. There is a role for everyone who care enough to step up to every challenge and task. There is a role for everyone who are humble and hardworking enough to recognize the importance of each nut and bolt of jobs.

As the conversation I heard on cable television went, there is a time for everyone, and everyone earns their stripes after they have done only their best and nothing less.