Tenets of Life: Integrity

“You can’t be one kind of person, and another kind of salesman.”

That line is found in our book, talking about consistency between your public persona and your private persona.  There are other consistencies that have to be maintained, as well: your private persona and your internal persona; your internal persona and your Ideal You; and even your public persona in one setting and your public persona in another setting.

Integrity, it would seem, is all about making the person you are–in whatever setting–be as close to the person you want to be as possible.  That consistency is what lets other people learn to expect certain behaviors from you, and, ideally, gives them a template for someone that they can look up to and even admire.

Therefore, strive for that consistency.  To say one thing and do another is a violation of integrity and leads to the accusation of hypocricy, which is another way of saying “lack of credibility.”  And in today’s world, a lack of credibility can be a fatal character flaw.

So begin in the same place we start the book: know yourself, what you believe in and who you want to be.  Then be honest about that, with yourself and with others.  And then most importantly, act accordingly.  If you’ve never thought in these terms before, it might be a bit of a painful transition–for yourself and for those around you.  But once the transition is made, we believe you will see immediate benefits.

If in no other way than just being able to look yourself in the eye in the mirror at the end of the day.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 28, 2011 at 10:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Challenge: Make It New

All around the world today our Christian friends (Western) are celebrating Easter, the resurrection of Jesus and the beginning of the Church; also this week our Jewish friends are celebrating Passover, in which the Angel of Death passed over the homes of the Hebrews to deliver the final plague upon the Egyptians, leading to the Exodus and the beginning of Judaism.

This time of year is all about beginnings and fresh starts.  Heck, even the Cleveland Indians still think that this is the year they’ll win it all.

Sometimes the past gets in our way–we remember mistakes we’ve made and trust ourselves a little less, or feel trapped in situations of our own making.  But no condition is permanent if we choose to change and act on that choice.

So this week think hard to identify a part of your life that could use a “do-over,” and then act on it.  ACT ON IT!!  Try to approach your problems with the freshness and enthusiasm you had years ago when you first approached it.

You’ll be amazed at what can happen when you ignore your past and tackle your problems with “new” eyes.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 12:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Tenets of Life: Courtesy

This is a term that has fallen out of common use, it would seem.  Webster’s defines it as behavior marked by polished manners or respect for others; it’s common understanding runs along the lines of very formal behavior, with elaborate rules like one would observe in a religious service or a martial arts event.

Which, we suppose, explains why it has fallen out of common use.  Modern culture is hip and indifferent, and observing hierarchy has become passe, so formality is far from the norm in the culture.  In fact, quite the opposite is true: there is a certain social currency in glibness and lack of humility.

But that does create an opportunity within the culture.  If you really want to make yourself stand out from your peers, try a little courtesy.  If you don’t know a person’s name, address them as “sir” or “ma’am;” if you have a job interview, dress the part; if somebody is doing something for you, thank them and go out of your way to let others know that they helped you out.

Courtesy costs almost nothing, but it leaves a huge impression.  And that’s often the difference between the door, and a foot in the door.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Challenge: Prop Somebody Else Up

Who doesn’t like getting a note of congratulations on a job well done?  Or a public thank-you in a staff meeting for some small act of brilliance?  And when was the last time you shied away from somebody offering to buy you a Starbuck’s as recognition for something you’d accomplished?

Everybody loves a little pat on the back.  And the best part is that that act of kindness rarely costs very much, but the message it sends about appreciation, about the value of the team, and about the value of each person is priceless.  Small gestures go a LONG way towards building loyalty.

So this week, the challenge is simple: MAKE the opportunity to tell somebody else that they’ve done a good job and you appreciate them and the work they do.  Even better, throw in a little gift card or a flower.  And best–do it in public, in front of their peers.

Then watch what happens to the morale of the entire group . . . including you!

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 18, 2011 at 12:49 am  Leave a Comment  

Lessons from Music: Ensemble

Have you ever listened to a great jazz group play?  We know jazz is not everybody’s cup of tea, but if you learn to appreciate it, there are great lessons. 

Every jazz performance has a moment of “improvisation,” where one or more of the players makes something up on the fly.  And while there are parameters for this section, within those parameters is completely spontaneous creativity.  And in groups that are familiar with each other, some of the most remarkable communication happens, such that they will start playing off each others’ ideas, altering rhythms in sync, and making the entire group part of the composition–all without speaking a word.  And the results can be amazing, as the whole becomes something substantially greater than the sum of the parts.

This same dynamic works in many other arenas: athletes often talk of “knowing” their teammates’ moves, actors develop that same rapport, and husbands and wives often learn to finish each others’ sentences. In fact, any relationship can develop that sort of dynamic.

So if your Perfect Life involves collaboration on any level, you should always be looking to work with people who you can form an “ensemble” with.  There’s a big difference between people who share a work space and people who work together.  The whole needs to be greater than the sum of the parts.

The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on April 14, 2011 at 11:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Straight Path

Golf, as with many sports, is full of life lessons.  Today we were watching the Masters–one of the four “major” tournaments of the year and one that is always loaded with tension and drama.  And one of the golfers who was in contention for the victory came to the next to last hole and hit a slightly errant tee shot, such that for his second shot he had to stand in a sand bunker with his feet about two feet below his ball and take an unusual, baseball-like swing.  He managed to hit the ball very well–in fact, so well that it flew straight at the hole.  Unfortunately, it was a little too good, as it bounced off the flagstick and caromed about 40 feet away and off of the putting surface. This golfer, however, was unfazed: he proceeded to hit a brilliant “chip” shot in the hole for his birdie. 

Not exactly how he drew it up back on the tee, but it got the job done rather nicely.

Many parts of your Perfect Life are not going to be how you draw them up.  The trick is going to be in a. keeping your composure; b. keeping your eye on your target; and c. being a little creative about getting things done.

In the end, the improvised play looks exactly like the “textbook” play on the scorecard.  Keep your eye on the target.

–The Gurus of Get It

Published in: on April 11, 2011 at 1:23 am  Leave a Comment  

Challenge: Renew

We love springtime.  Every year nature begins the process of renewal by bringing life back out of its slumber and starting all over again.  Even bad baseball teams hit this first week of April with hope and optimism for the season.  Renewal is an essential part of life. So this week’s challenge is for you to piggy back on what nature is doing, and renew an old relationships. 

How often have you heard the statement “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”?  It’s become one of those truisms of contemporary life, pointing out that your network is often more important than your skills. We here at Get It! are big believers in the meritocracy: you should get ahead (or fall behind) based on your achievements and attitudes.  But we live in the real world, also, and we recognize that there is a lot of validity to that statement above. So this week call or email a colleague, drop a “Tweet” on a high school buddy, or take an old boss a Starbuck’s in the morning.  You never know when somebody else is looking for help, and you may be able to remind them how valuable you can be.

The Gurus of Get It!

Published in: on April 3, 2011 at 11:41 pm  Leave a Comment