Almost all disaffections of the soul are the result of disappointments with people and organizations. These disappointments are usually the result of betrayals, which can be traced to broken promises and untruths. When someone lies to us, we are crushed and our souls are saddened. In contrast, a culture of truth-telling and promise-keeping is exhilarating and inspiring — a weight seems to drop from our shoulders; toxicity gives way to healing; joyfulness and trust prevail; and affection for our associates grows in our hearts. Leaders who inspire the soul of others do not treat promise-keeping or truth-telling lightly. Do you keep your promises?
Spirit@Work is an iPhone app that offers 77 words to inspire their leadership and living. Currently free, downloaded, and, when you do, open the app and then shape your phone. It will deliver a word of the day for you to focus on. My card today is “Promise-Keeping.”
I am a liar in recovery.
I learned to lie to get what I wanted at a young age when I didn’t want to go to a movie my parents wanted to see and had reserved tickets for (it was the 1950’s. It wasn’t commonplace). I pretended to be sick and got to stay in bed in my room watching sports on tv.
I continued to master lying in college by adopting a false persona that gave me a lot of attention from other people. Being false got me an opportunity to sing with a band for years and even more attention.
Then, I was hired as a recruiter and was trained in all the despicable tactics and sales techniques people loathe about recruiters.
One day, I realized I was having a hard time remembering all the lies I was telling and decided to change.
I realized I was hurting people while cashing checks for placements I did and leaving people in the dust. I would listen to the complaints long enough to earn my fee and then stop taking their calls.
I didn’t like myself.
I wanted to be more honest and not mock the people who came to me for help, as I often did.
I changed. I said difficult things like, “I don’t know.” I kept my promises to people by writing them down and following through on the promise I made (often, the promise I made was to call someone back at a particular date and time. In pre-technology days without calendar software to remind you, this wasn’t easy).
I could see and, more importantly, feel a change in myself.
I also know I am still in recovery and have been so for decades.
I am not perfect, but I want to have a climate and environment around me where we keep our promises to one another.
It feels good, and people like it.
Me, in particular.
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2100 episodes. He also hosts Job Search TV on YouTube, Amazon and Roku, as well as on BingeNetworks.tv for Apple TV and 90+ smartsets.
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