Are You a Really That Big of a Deal?

I have a pin in my office I picked up a couple of years ago at the SHRM National Conference from the Baudville booth (no this isn’t a paid post! But I love their company!). It says:

“I’m Kind Of A Big Deal”

I thought it was funny, and it’s been stuck to the board behind my desk for over two years now. I like it because it reminds me daily that I’m NOT a big deal – far from it.

In fact, it makes me laugh when someone thinks I’m a big deal because I’m the president of a company, or because I write a blog (you know anyone can do this, right!?), or that because at one point in my kid’s life they believed that I use to be Batman but stopped to be a Dad.

You’re a Big Deal only if you don’t act like one

No, I’m not a big deal.

Here’s the thing about being a Big Deal: If you truly are a “Big Deal” you don’t act like a “Big Deal,” but if you’re a wannabe ‘”Big Deal” then you certainly try and come across like a “Big Deal.”

Do you follow me? Apparently getting an executive HR job in corporate America makes you a wannabe “Big Deal” – or that might just be how certain HR executives like to treat almost anyone they come into contact with. You might think I would have to worry about writing something like this, but I don’t,  because wannabe “Big Deals” don’t read HR blogs. Wannabe Big Deals read their own press clippings, which are usually those articles in the monthly employee newsletter, or local shoppers guide, because they’re a “Big Deal.”

I’ve never really understood the “Big Deal” phenomenon. When I was on the corporate side of the desk I would get bugged by numerous calls from vendors and hiring managers and community groups – all wanting a piece of your time. I get it, and it gets frustrating.

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The drawbacks to being a “Big Deal”

Being a Big Deal has those kind of drawbacks, like people wanting your time. Being a Big Deal, though, doesn’t give you a license to be an asshole. Asshole Big Deal is not the kind of Big Deal you want to be. And treating people like they are a small deal does not make a Big Deal any bigger — it just makes the Big Deal smaller.

I have people reach out to me frequently because of all the writing I do, and I respond to each one as if I was responding to a co-worker or friend. If I can’t help, then I will try and find someone who can. If I can help, I will.

If they want me to sell their product, I will tell them how that works. I’m a really good salesperson if you pay me, but I tend to be a really bad sales person if you’re asking me to do your job for free. At no point do I become a Big Deal – because I’m not.

But I have a blog which allows me to write about “Big Deals,” so I guess that’s something. I might have to reach out and ask Baudville if they’ll send me some of those pins so that when I run into “Big Deals” I can make sure to send them one – just so everyone is clear on who they are.

This was originally published on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.


3 Comments on “Are You a Really That Big of a Deal?

  1. I only think of Anchorman when I see this saying. Can’t seem to clear my mind of it.

  2. Hi Tim. Your post reminds me of what my mother used to say all the time–Jesus is no respecter of persons. It was her way of telling me that a good way to live is to respect everyone regardless of “station.” I’ve met my share of “legends in their own minds,” and while I don’t want to be dismissive of anyone’s success, most of the people we’re talking about are big fish in a REALLY small pond in a HUGE world. And I couldn’t agree more that no matter who you are there’s really no reason to treat others badly.

  3. People know Tim Sackett; I understand he has many leather-bound books and his office smells of rich mahogany.

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