We’ve all heard the stories. A famous person, senior executive, or government official says something insulting, denigrating, or just plain nasty in a fit of anger, while drunk, or while thinking there are no outsiders around. Often there’s racism, sexism, homophobia, or some other hate filled speech included.
You know what happens when it goes viral. Abject apologies, excuses about being under the influence, fervent promises to never do it again.
We all know what really happened. Their deepest beliefs were released as their inhibitions fell away.
Actions define who you really are. The veneer of propriety slips away revealing what lies beneath. Suddenly someone trying to appear a better person than they really are is unmasked for the reprobate that lives within.
What always fascinates me is how so many seemingly upstanding people have such vile beliefs hidden right under the surface. Worse is how many powerful people share this pattern. Powerful people whose hidden beliefs color what they do, how they act, and their true beliefs about other people.
Presidential elections always bring the deceit to the surface in surprising ways. How is it that politicians don’t understand that there is no such thing as a private meeting anymore? How is it that they think they can say one thing to this group and something completely different to that group…and no one will notice. How is it that they are surprised that when they are unmasked for the venal behavior they so often exhibit.
We live in a world where everything is visible…immediately. You are the message. The real you, not the public relations you. The you that people see when things are difficult, when you’re under stress, when you let your guard down.
To be successful there is only one way to be these days: open and honest. Be the you you are all the time. Address your issues openly and honestly. Lose you fear of saying or doing something that will come back to haunt you. Be a leader that people can trust always as they know who you are and trust how you will act. Ensure your public and private words and actions are the same…always.
Stop saying “people are our most important resource” when everyone sees your actions so at odds with these words.