This post was inspired after I had a discussion with someone that I would call a “humble rainmaker”. I have only met a few people that I would say fall into this category. The idea of a “rainmaker” comes from First Nations culture. The job of the rainmaker was to carry out traditional rituals to make the rain fall during dry periods. In the corporate world, a rainmaker is defined as a person who is highly successful in their profession or field, typically in customer facing roles. The best rainmakers are just those that are most passionate about what they do. They believe more than anyone else that what they do matters, and they’re great at it, and not shy about, articulating that. Most rainmakers unfortunately lose their sense of humility after achieving certain levels of success. Those who can’t “make it rain”, so to speak, think it’s about luck and personality. The “humble rainmakers” are the individuals that achieved tremendous success, but have an amazing humility about their accomplishments. They balance their time, talent, and passion with hard work, preparation, and proven methods.
The humble rainmaker does most of his or her talking by producing results. They don’t need publicity, never make excuses and keep moving forward. They are inherently optimistic, quietly confident and have a relentless drive that is only matched with their intimidatingly savage wit. They may sit on your board, not say a word the entire meeting, and with one sentence, sway the entire discussion, because they were probably right. They are the type of individuals that find a way to succeed despite adversity. They beat a bad economy, they figure out how to extend the life of a business with no money, they create conversations with difficult-to-reach decision makers, they sell something complex and intangible to someone who never even had an inkling that they wanted to buy it. The list goes on, but the theme is the same: they win.
Do you know of any humble rainmakers?
If you do, I’d work tremendously hard to earn both their respect and trust and hopefully, get them on your side.