Although I sometimes attempted with great resolve in times of disappointment, failure, and letting myself and others down, to adopt a new attitude and behavior, I see now that all these genuine attempts for ‘character change’ were still shaped and anchored in what I believed was the ‘Real Me’. I became very accomplished at this.
I built a reputation for being wise, having sound morals, being a great coach, intelligent, and in general an upright citizen who was respected. I relished this reputation and constantly took care to ensure it remained intact and unsullied. In those moments when I risked losing it by losing my temper, being nasty, putting others down and failing, I became accomplished at humbly apologising in a genuine way, and those who knew and loved me were quick to acknowledge that this was not the real me. I even believed that myself, which in a weird way allowed me to feel genuine and honest inside (but at a deeper level still believing I was someone who was not talented at most things but, by working hard at everything, was still worthy).
In summary I was an imperfect being trying to be and look perfect and not seeing the limiting grip of this approach. The risk of losing my reputation was always the senior consideration over the risk of being and behaving differently.
This way of being guided me successfully if not perfectly through a wonderful marriage to an extraordinarily loving, successful and beautiful woman, and raising three equally beautiful and successful children. I had a successful if not perfect, twenty-five-year career in Procter & Gamble and then embarked on a successful, if not perfect twenty-five year career in building a consulting company which became known around the world and uniquely valued (ironically, but maybe not surprisingly, in the field of Human relationships, culture change and transformational leadership), working with the top global multinationals at all levels, from factory and office to Boardrooms.
The starting point and success, if not perfect, of my consulting career I owe to an extraordinary human being; Charlie Smith. I benefitted majorly from his help in my career and work in P&G, and then in developing my competency as a consultant. The biggest acknowledgement that I make to Charlie, although I didn’t see it at the time, is that he started me on the road that would eventually have me see with unfiltered awareness, the limiting nature of my character, in all of its great and ‘not good’ manifestations. They are all still present and often at work, but I now have a conscious choice and freedom to be and act outside of these – what he would call my “Island of Sanity” or my “Overview Effect” – two great viewing points!Download Article 1K Club