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How to be one of the cool people we admire: They do not care what other people think about them

How to be one of the cool people we admire: They do not care what other people think about them


Photo credit: Ralf Weiser, Captain Sig Hansen in Bethlehem PA 2014

Admit it, people who know what they are doing and don’t care what other people think of them are just cool. They typically know what they stand for and have a list of goals that they are busy pursuing – and they are successful doing just that. Being good looking helps, but that is not necessarily a pre-requisite.

Take for instance the crew of the “Northwestern” from the TV reality show “Deadliest Catch”. Sig Hansen, his brother, and Jake (another crew member) were on tour in 2014 and I got the chance to see them in Bethlehem PA. Their antics were instant classics. Sig for instance threw out the water bottles put in front of them by the stage crew. He replaced it with a beer he had brought on stage with him from his room. He did not care that they were not supposed to do that. During the whole evening they acted out exactly like they were on the TV show. Him and the others did not care the least that they had hundreds of guests watching them.

So what makes them so different from us? Well, nothing at all. We all have the same potential as them. The only one difference is that they have not granted power to other people. Yeah, that’s right. That is the small but most important difference. They strongly believe that no one has power over them unless they let go of it to others.

Getting to know this principle is the easy part. How can they be so sure of themselves? That is the tough part. In order to gain self-confidence you have to spend quite a bit of time pondering your purpose. What legacy do you want to be known for? Where are you headed? Whom do you want in your life who can pursue your goals together with you?

That is why we admire other people: they are true to themselves. Good news is that we can all start in a moment’s notice. You’ve got to start though.


When you work with customers it is what you do – not who you are

When you work with customers it is what you do – not who you are pablo-3

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Anyone in the working environment who needs to interact with other people will encounter criticism one time or another. This gets more frequent the moment you need to deal with customers.  Letting your feelings respond for you and push back by taking this personal will only end badly for all parties involved. The customer will get more upset and most likely yell more and louder.

Just before you respond to anyone in this situation, take a moment and ponder whether or not what was said criticized what you do. That means your job function, your company, your company’s policy (hope you are not actually muttering this word in front of a customer though), etc. You will find that very few if any call will ever by about only you and how you personally caused an issue because of who you are. If it was about you, then take it as an opportunity and evaluate yourself and if you need to make any changes – make them quickly.

There is of course a limit of how much of a personal attack you should subject yourself to. Fortunately there are options. It is a good practice to ask the other party if you should get off the phone until such time that the conversation gets more professional again. The last resort is to hang up with the customer for the time being and calling back later.

Allowing people to vent and to just listen may be tough, but the rewards are worth it.


Do you like a challenge: Can you name 15 people you admire?

Do you like a challenge: Can you name 15 people you admire? Ralf a

In this time where the news are packed with more depressing than uplifting content I invite you for something more inspiring. Name 15 People you admire. They may be living people or figures from history. Think of why you look up to them. If they are living try touching base with them and make sure to let them know how much they mean to you.

Here’s my list:

  • Martin Luther – German cleric, leader of the Reformation
  • Mahatma Gandhi – Indian social activist instrumental in India’s becoming independent from Britain; “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
  • George Washington – American revolutionary war Commander in Chief and first President of the United States of America
  • Abraham Lincoln – Civil War era President of the United States of America
  • Helmut Kohl – Former German Chancellor, he held the key to Germany’s reunification and unified Europe
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. – American cleric, civil rights leader, social activist.
  • Peter Strople – The most connected man in America with a heart of Gold.
  • John O’Leary – The most inspiring man in America
  • Herbert Grönemeyer, German song writer and actor “Das Boot”
  • Muhammad Ali – American Boxer, sometimes down but never out
  • Brendon Burchard – From a second chance in life to a training expert he is helping so many people start a coaching and teaching career
  • Katrin S – My sister. Much like Muhammad Ali she is about as tough as they come when facing challenges life keeps throwing at her
  • My Granddad and Grandma – I know no one who was fairer and more giving than these two folks
  • My mom – No matter how much misery she endured she always mustered a smile and kept helping others
  • My kids – They advocate for themselves and do so much to help serve other people

This is more difficult than you would think at first. Once I got started I could think of more and more people whom I all genuinely admire.

Happy pondering!


Being nice may be a really bad thing and it is not what you think

Being nice may be a really bad thing and it is not what you think  Smaller FB

A while back I attended a fabulous event where my friend and mentor Dr Roger Hall was piping up saying that Canadians are nice people, but being nice would be a bad thing. The moment I heard this come out of his mouth he had my and everybody else’s attention. Huh? How can being nice be a bad thing? He then cited that he had once seen a TV interview with an older German lady who supposedly had been Hitler’s housekeeper. She said that Adolf had been her greatest boss and overall had been a very “nice” man. Oh boy.

Here is the main issue with being “nice”: Being nice is a great cover up how you really feel. It is nothing but a cover up over your real self. It is a protection mechanism. It is far from being authentic. It is outright selfish and clearly only serves one purpose: self-preservation. Where is the real you in this? Being nice is nothing more than trying to make it through a conversation or any other form of human interaction quickly and without having to make commitments.

Dr Hall asserted that he preferred to be loving over nice. What does that mean and what is the difference? Being loving means you are authentic to be empathetic and compassionate. Being loving means having to be determined helping the other person with candor. She/ he may not like what you have got to say, or perhaps may not even like you as a person. Ultimately, you make loving the other person still the one and only priority. It is not an invitation to be nasty or hurtful. It is all about meeting other people at eye level. It gives them a sense where you are coming from. It creates a centering point from which all future interactions may grow from. Only with such a good solid ground zero start can any of us build meaningful friendships. More than ever is authenticity important in our lives. Authenticity begets trust and predictable outcome. Where else would your sense of your personal true North come from?

Think twice about wanting to be known for being nice. I aspire to leave a legacy for being a loving spouse, father, friend, leader-manager, and your acquaintance. How about you?


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