Be alive, but be truthful, calm, humble and thoughtful

In spite of everything, we need to remember to be alive. If we do not, then we may spiral down a rabbit hole of despair and uncertainty. Here, it is a good day to be outside. While I have yard work in my plans, it will be nice to exercise and breathe fresh air. I have a few random smidgens of musings to ponder around a common theme as we head out.

Since I have been writing of the need to listen to the truthtellers, I was reminded of a quirky colleague who was a joy to be around. He would leave vignettes on his voicemail greeting, changing them every few days. One of my favorites is “Always tell the truth. You don’t have to remember as much.”

An old leadership axiom is watch what managers do in times of crisis. The ones who can calm others in the face of adversity are the ones to follow. People take on the personality of their leader. If he or she berates people in times of stress, then others will follow suit. But, if he or she is calm….

The famous Atlanta Braves pitcher John Smoltz was applauded for how cool he was in the playoffs and World Series which contributed to great success. He said the key is to stay calm and achieve the same level of performance as you do when not as stressed. It is not that he elevated his performance, others got nervous and lowered theirs.

Like many, my grandfather was not a talkative man. He was a hard worker who loved to fish in his spare time. His best friend, my great uncle, was the same way. Between the two of them, the fish would never be scared away by sound. But, when he talked, you listened. We all know and need people like this in our lives.

One of the greatest college running backs and a very good pro football player was named Herschel Walker. When Walker scored a touchdown, he would not celebrate like players do today and many did when he played. He preferred to act like he had been in the end zone before. And, he was there a lot.

Finishing up with Walker, I have written before of the true story after he retired. He was out jogging and came upon a car that had crashed and the people could not get out of the car. Walker ripped the door off the car and pulled them to safety. After making sure they were alright and waiting until the police and EMTs arrived, he ran off with no fan fare. It was not until later that a reporter confirmed that Walker had saved the couple from the car.

The themes of truthfulness, calmness, humility and thoughtfulness are worthy attributes to deploy. Beware of those in leadership who do not exhibit such.


4 thoughts on “Be alive, but be truthful, calm, humble and thoughtful

  1. Y’know, Keith … our current “leader” is the exact antithesis of what a leader should be, but I know of someone with all the traits to fill the shoes, whether during periods of calm seas, or mega-storms such as we are having today, and his name is Keith Wilson. I wish you were at the helm instead of the clown that’s there now. Your words are always wise and encouraging. Thank you.

    • Thanks Jill. You are right about the incumbent. The person who succeeds him will have their work cut out for them to rebuild relationships and civility. But, using an old basketball coach analogy, he or she would not be replacing John Wooden, the highly successful UCLA basketball coach. Keith

      • You are right about the person who succeeds him, hopefully next January, and another thing that worries me … that person is going to have to make some really tough decisions that a lot of people aren’t going to like, such as raising taxes, imposing new environmental regulations, etc. By the end of his first term, he may have become quite unpopular because he did what needed to be done. If so, he might lose his bid for re-election to … another big business republican! Yeah, I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but this is something that has been bothering me for a while. Sigh.

      • Jill, I saw a good example of what a leader looks like. Biden reached out to Sanders for input on who he thinks are good VP candidates. We will need that spirit of cooperation and we are in this together. When Trump’s uses words of being in this together, it rings hollow. Keith

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