If someone asks, “What’s the most important thing to carry with you?” some of us will slap our pockets for our key, wallet, pocket knife, handkerchief, or some tiny talisman. But on reflection, you’ll realize those are just the physical items we carry. It’s no quibble to point out that the non-physical counts for more than the physical. Growing up in New York City, I was always told to act as though I knew where I was, where I was going, and that I was where I belonged. Although how you carried yourself was important, attitude took you through…even if you did run at some point if the situation deteriorated into a brawl.
I rarely needed such chutzpah later in life, but the lesson of self-confidence stays with you. Committees in corporate or government bureaucracies may not handle switchblades and zip guns like the old-time gangs of my youth, but they can be every bit as thuggish and brutal.
There are very few circumstances where allowing thugs to smell blood is a good thing. And if you think that the only thugs around are the ones on dark streets, your education is lacking.
The folks in the board meeting may not be jiving, snapping their fingers, and singing the gang song from West Side Story, but trust me; they are just as much a bunch of thugs beneath the neat, professional clothing. What’s the most important thing you carry with you every day? Your attitude and self-confidence.