Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
When I was making the transition from military life to the civilian world in the mid 90s, and again as I was transitioning from engineering to coaching at the end of that decade, I participated in a personal development program called “The Pursuit Of Excellence“.
Among the several truths I discovered through this program is this: “How you do one thing is how you do everything“.
There is no dividing line between our public persona and our private life. If you preach one position in public and secretly do the opposite, you will get caught. Arnie, Anthony, Eliot, Mark… The examples are too numerous to be named.
I’ve been getting feedback from the #trust30 series and other blog entries, about how I am sharing my inner thoughts, wishes, fears and dreams with you. The question that I get asked is “do I worry that it will have a negative impact on my reputation?” I believe it’s quite the contrary. If I’m preaching the gospel of Clarity, Commitment, Confidence and Courage, but secretly I’m hiding behind my fears, then I’m not walking the talk, and people will sense it.
It is too easy for those of us in the coaching and leadership industry to fall into “The Guru Trap“, where we start to believe our own hype and take shortcuts to shore up the image we want to project. It can be a route to quick financial success, but this instant success can be quite hollow. Keeping up a false front takes a lot of energy, while living authentically in our professional and personal life is much simpler and more fulfilling.
Be honest, be transparent, be open, and above all, walk your talk. Business is first and foremost trust. This means developing the courage to be real, in order to create a connection of trust between people.
For more information
This post is part of a series inspired by The Domino Project’s #Trust30 Writing Challenge. Each day during the month of June 2011, we receive a thought from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance”, to use as a writing prompt. For more information about the #Trust30 Writing Challenge, see today’s prompt:
Context Associated: http://www.contextinternational.com
I will always be grateful to Kimberlee Faith Wolfe for encouraging me to get involved in this experience, as well as my first facilitator, Bobby Ng of Edmonton, who gifted me with a set of life principles which continue to guide me today, as well as the many other leaders and colleagues with whom I shared a transformative experience during the Wall, the Advancement, and the Mastery programs. Context programs continue in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and elsewhere. If you want to know more, I can put you in touch with the right contacts.
Beware The Guru Trap
How Big Is Your Whuffie?
“The Likeability Factor” by Tim Sanders
Image credit: “mikeyexists” on Flickr
Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/63101308@N00/360108233/
Used under Creative Commons 2.0 licence