Wednesday, 27 March 2013
Soft skills -- Honesty and Integrity
A senior manager I had a few years back introduced me to a very successful salesman. In that encounter he suggested to me that if I wanted to be really successful I needed to start following the platinum rule instead of the golden rule. He defined the ‘platinum rule’ as treating others as they wanted to be treated regardless of how they treat you or anyone else. I’ve never been really able to apply the platinum rule perhaps in no small part due to the fact that I am a very big believer in karma. What goes around eventually and always comes around. I have learned though (the hard way) that viewpoint makes many of the more politically motivated individuals out there very nervous.
And when it comes to motivating people . . . well lets just say I’m of the school you can’t actually motivate anyone. You can only leverage the motivations people already possess. The other half of this picture that tends to get lost on a lot of people after they’ve been doing a certain job for a long period of time is humility, and offering credit where credit is due is part of that. And yet some people want to receive kudos just for showing up. Still others’ have perspectives that taking the credit as the leader is just how things are supposed to work. If you don’t do that yourself, they see you as weak and not a leader. As the old adage says “provide goes before the fall.” One person said to me in my travels that “it’s only arrogance if you can’t back up what you’re saying with results.” That never really sat that well with me that well either. It seems contrary to sincerity and self-respect / confidence / efficacy. That said, I also know that I’ve been accused of being arrogant. Luckily (for me) there’s been some one else close by in most cases to challenge that accusation. And yes, I can fight my own battles. It’s just that this is one of those situations where the more you protest your innocence the more it looks like you’re not innocent at all. It’s like being called a guru. It’s great if others give you that label and much less so when you do it yourself.