I must have been brought up wrong. I was misled. I believed working hard and doing my best was the key to success. For decades, it was true. Then the world changed — and I learned otherwise.
Many (most?) companies no longer tolerate excellence, much less encourage it. Excellence upsets the balance of office relationships. It makes less talented workers uneasy. They take your excellence as a personal affront. It makes bosses nervous, too, because they are often less competent and knowledgeable than the people they supervise.
Out in the marketplace, it’s dog-eat-dog. To be a contender today, you should drink the company Kool-Aid. Fit in with the company culture. Be careful how well you do the job because excellence stands out, and that’s dangerous. People who stand out get laid off first (or never hired at all).
Don’t complain. Turn out volumes of work and keep your head down. Worry about quantity, not quality.
Smile. You’re sure to make it to the top.