Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Coward

The other day I again ran across a major manager, in this case a CEO but this thought is not limited to the CEO class, who is a bully. I was reminded of something that Halibuton* said:

"A brave man is sometimes a desperado; but a bully is always a coward."

When you meet and observe driven individuals that you will have to interact with it is important to learn early which kind you are dealing with.

In business there is a strong lead and/or follow relationship issue in when two or more personalities work toward a transaction or common goal. Fundamental to the relationship is the issue of personal faith, that is in theory you both put faith in each other as an assumptive basis for the furtherance of your activity. It takes a brave person to deal with the truths frequently necessary to succeed, a bit of the desperado is not uncommon for part of the definition of desperado it to be bold enough to cast a fear aside, in this case to do what is right.

This is not the domain of the bully for he is a coward. The bully will use bluster to camouflage that character flaw, most commonly in the form of misleading you with their supposed fame. Bragging, name-dropping, innuendo, implying relationships, generally claiming what is not theirs are the tools they use and that you must watch out for.

As you build your business you are exercising bravery. For the faint of heart do not pick up the responsibility for their lives and the lives of others, they do not follow their dreams. They steal and claim dreams from others.

You will be besieged by bullies who will try to impress you with their skill, power, and virtue. This is always with the intent of getting their hand into your pocket, to acquire your power and resources, and to leverage you in the launch on to their next victim

This guy I met the other day reminded me that constant vigilance is the key to survival and success. Thus again, Andy Grove’s motto, "only the paranoid survive" comes home.

Have a prosperous New Year in these trying times.

Barry Thornton, a part-time follower of Socrates

*Thomas Haliburton (1796-1867) Scottish Humorist

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