Everybody be yo’self

Although I have personalized this, I have give credit to Dan Rockwell for this post. Dan’s leadership blog sets a high standard for me, but it is very much what I would like my blog to be. You can find a link to his original post at the end of this post.


Jim Parker, former CEO of Southwest Airlines, was once asked for his favorite advice. He said, “Be yourself.”

This may not seem like very exciting advice, but when a leader with experience leading during difficult times gives advice, you should pay attention.

There is great power in “Be yourself.” The song “I Am A Child of God” describes the core of my identity, both as an individual and as a leader. Everything else, I hope, builds on that.

Dan Rockwell, in his Leadership Freak Blog, discussed being yourself. I have added my own thoughts to his.

#1. “Be yourself,” is self-affirming nonsense unless you give yourself in service.

Sammy Davis Jr. made, “I’ve Gotta be Me,” a hit song in 1968.  If you embrace the message of this song, do it in service to others. And Frank Sinatra did it his way, which always seemed pretty selfish to me.

I think Keb’ Mo’s message is better than Sammy’s. See “Everybody Be Yourself” from Sesame Street, or the original album version (sorry, no video).

In the bridge, he sings;

Everybody’s got a will, everybody’s got a way.
Everybody got to listen to what everybody say.
Everybody got a nighttime, everybody got a day.
Everybody’s got to give a little love away.
Everybody’s got to stand up if you’re gonna be free.
Everybody got to know how to live in harmony.

A life lived in service to itself is a colossal waste; a life given in service to others is a life well-lived.

“I’m just being myself” is never a good excuse for poor behavior or failure to lead.

#2. “Be yourself,” stabilizes your leadership in turbulent times.

If you don’t know who you are, you end up tossed in the wind. You lose yourself to the expectations of others. Everyone’s advice seems good.

Being yourself is making forward-facing choices that align with your aspirations, affirm your values and leverage your strengths. And in difficult times, you don’t have to try to remember who you said you were.

#3. Don’t simply, “Be yourself.” Be your aspirational self.

Leadership demands personal growth. A leader who is not growing cannot lead effectively.

Aspiration adds dignity and direction to self-discovery.

Get a picture of who you aspire to become and live up to your aspiration.

Your aspirational story is important. Begin with formative aspects of your story.

  1. What stories do you frequently share about yourself? What do those stories say about you?
  2. How are you like your parents or relatives?
  3. How has adversity shaped you?

Use your story as a beginning, not an end. And don’t be afraid to share your story.

Tip: Include others in the process of self-discovery. What do others see in you? You never know yourself in isolation.

What does Jim Parker’s advice – Be Yourself – mean to you?

What prevents leaders from being themselves?


Read the original blog post here.

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15 Phrases You Need to Say to Yourself More Often

This is another post that I felt I should share in its original form. Lolly Daskal is a regular contributor to Inc. and Forbes, and has a great deal of good advice to leaders at all levels. This article is full of just plain good advice for anyone.
Discover how positive affirmations and encouraging phrases can keep you on point.
CREDIT: Getty Images

Careers and lives are too often hectic these days, making it easy to lose touch with who you are and who you want to be. Just as you’d speak positively to someone else to help keep the person on track, talking to yourself is a way to guide and motivate yourself. Positive affirmations and self-talk can be a powerful force in reminding you of the most important things.

Here are 15 phrases you should say to yourself more often to create the kind of life that will help you become the best version of yourself.

1. I would rather be kind than be right. You don’t always have to be the smartest or sharpest–sometimes the best thing to do is to be kind whenever you can, realizing how much strength and restraint it sometimes takes. When you make kindness a habit, it will be returned to you 10-fold.

2. I’m never too busy. The most successful people have time for others; it’s those who have a hard time getting things done who are too busy to spend time with colleagues, friends, and family. Keep your priorities in order and work to become the kind of person who says, “I’m never too busy.”

3. I will say what I mean and mean what I say. Make it an absolute policy to give people the information they need rather than expecting them to know the unknowable. Communication is the key to great relationships, and lack of communication is the source of a huge amount of conflict.

4. I am tough and yet I am patient. Be tough and be patient, because someday this pain you are going through is going to be useful; one day your struggle will make sense. Pain is a sign that something needs to change, a wake-up call that guides you toward a better future. So keep your heart open and do what it takes to stay tough and patient.

5. I am a student. Prepare for success by keeping your mind conditioned to always be curious, open to questions, wanting to learn. Remember if you stay ready, you don’t have to prepare when opportunity knocks.

6. I will stop being a fixer. How often do you find yourself wanting to fix things for others, giving constant advice and interference? Then at the end you discover that you’ve turned out to be an enabler rather than a helper. People need a listening ear more than advice; they want to know what they’re capable of, not what you can do to fix them.

7. I will stop judging and criticizing. Everyone is fighting some kind of battle, and frankly you don’t have a clue what most people you encounter every day are going through–just as they have no clue what you are going through. If you don’t want to be judged or critiqued, stop doing it to others.

8. I will be consistent in my choices and my daily actions. Live your life in a way that leaves no room for regret; never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you are meant to do. Continue to make consistent choices and take daily actions and work hard at what you love, no matter what the challenges are.

9. I accept that my mistakes are a big part of being successful. We all make mistakes, but you don’t have to make your mistakes your fate. Instead, realize that mistakes are part of every successful story. If you learn from them and adapt with them, you can make mistakes a source of learning. What can you do to make your mistakes OK?

10. I will stop making promises I cannot keep. If you say you are going to do something, do it. It’s easy to make promises, much harder to keep them. If you want people to trust you, underpromise and overdeliver on everything you do.

11. I know my experience is my best teacher. Don’t chase the experiences of others or try to memorize their lessons. Learn from others, of course, but remember that this is your life and your circumstances. Learn for yourself from your own experience, determine the best practice, and then do your thing.

12. I will allow my character to speak for itself. Make sure you live in such a way that if someone decided to speak badly about you, no one would believe it. Allow your character to speak for itself.

13. I cannot control everything, but I can always control my response. We cannot control many things, but we can control one thing–how we respond. Instead of trying to change what you cannot control, work on controlling your own attitude and actions. Say to yourself, I am in control of my responses. They can either be good for me or bad for me, but that is my choice.

14. I will stop comparing myself with others. No two people are alike, with the same gifts or strengths. At the end of the day, you are competing only against yourself and no one else. The sooner you understand this, the better off you will be.

15. I will work on the relationships that matter to me. All successful relationships require work; they don’t just happen. They exist and thrive when all parties put their hearts and minds in it. In human relationships, the distance is not measured in miles but in love. Two people can be right next to each other and ignore each other completely. Resolve to stay in daily touch with the people who are important in your life–not because it’s easy or convenient, but because they’re worth the effort.

The original article may be found here: 15 Phrases