Merit: don’t cheat yourself

By Myles Druckman

It used to be so simple. We work hard and we are rewarded based on our “merit”. Today, the world seems to be so much more dynamic and moving at light speed – and merit seems to have gotten lost in all the noise.  While merit is typically seen as a personal trait, in today’s world, work is done more and more in teams, with shared resources and also shared “credit” for the good work that is accomplished. It is often hard to identify those doing a “good” job, from those who are just “riding along”. For many it feels as though it is hard to get ahead by just showing one’s merit – it seems like it is not enough. With social media it is often the one with the most “friends” or the most “hits” who gets the most credit and merit. Everyone is fighting to stand out amongst the crowd and show their unique value – the world sometimes feels like a global reality TV show.

But maybe we are all missing the point. Merit is a personal trait. It is what an individual does to accomplish a task or meet a goal.  For that, there is only one person who can truly determine the quality and quantity of work that has been done – and that is you. The world will continue to rush by with many screaming “look at me”. To be successful in any endeavor, we must learn to judge ourselves honestly and critically. That also means judging others in the same consistent way too.  At the end of the day, we only cheat ourselves by pretending to be more effective, successful or important than we really are.  It is easy to become cynical and fall into the ether of manufactured success and notoriety. Merit can only be earned – it cannot be bought, sold, traded or manufactured. If only we all could live and evolve based on our own merits, the world will be a more effective, transparent and ultimately happier place. And that truly should merit our attention.

Myles Druckman (UCC ’82), MD is Vice President, Medical Services for International SOS, where he directs the Medical Consulting and Corporate Medical Staffing Services in the Americas. In this role, Dr. Druckman leads the development of customized corporate health solutions for multinational organizations that support the health of their personnel wherever they may live or work globally.

Previously, Dr. Druckman held the position of Vice President, Medical Assistance for International SOS in the Americas region. For 5 years he oversaw day-to-day medical assistance activities including the coordination of medical evacuations, while he was also responsible for the management of a number of global health projects. Prior to this role, Dr. Druckman was Regional Medical Director for International SOS in North Asia. Prior to joining International SOS, Dr. Druckman spent 5 years in Moscow, where he founded the first Western medical facilities in the former Soviet Union, in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Kiev.

Dr. Druckman holds a Bachelor of Science degree from McGill University and a Medical Degree from McMaster University Medical School. Dr. Druckman is also a Board member of WaterAid, a leading NGO concerned with delivering water and sanitation to the most needy regions of the world.

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