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Which One Do You Want To Be?

 In All

Choosing to be liked or respected is a conundrum for many of us.

Like cognitive dissonance creates that battle in your brain, you are left with the question of which one you choose: “Should I be liked or respected?”

For some of you clever folk, you’re already asking yourselves “But can’t I be both?”.

Maybe you can. And maybe you can’t. It depends on who you are and your personality type.

You have to work out which ones works best for you, which can make it a really hard question to answer.

Some of you will always want to be liked.

You want to belong because that ensures your safety and survival amongst your tribe. Back to cave man stuff where everyone had each others backs. Literally.

Others of you will prefer to be respected as you see it as a harder-earnt currency.

You say what needs to be said even if people don’t want to hear it, like that saying:

“A good friend will tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear.”

I will often say things because they need to be said and because no one else wants to say them. I got called up by the CEO of Fieldays. Did I care? No. Many of you agreed with me.

I’ve gone on record saying most ‘spray and pray advertising’ is a waste of time. I’ve also argued the best talent these days doesn’t work for agencies because they can work for themselves and they do. I’ve also said I think the traditional ad agency model is broken just like my good friend Anne Miles did (time will tell of course but COVID19 has challenged conventional business models like nothing else we’ve ever seen before).

You get respect when you have the the courage and conviction to state your case, regardless of the consequence. You are being true to your true self.

You call things out for what they are like like Nick Mowbray recently did here recently on LinkedIn. He called out those New Zealand corporates who have recently announced record profits despite claiming massive Government subsidies. CoastGuard New Zealand paid theirs back but Summerset Holdings, Briscoes and didn’t.

Will be liked by some of his peers in the business community? Probably not.

Will he be respected by others? Yes. Very likely judging by the comments he got.

Can’t you be respected AND liked?

The answer depends on who you are as a person.

Some of you will have thicker skins and can take criticism. Others of you will be more thin skinned so you opt for the safer route.

Personally, I’d far rather be respected than liked. One seems too easy to acquire and the other much harder.

And like my Grandma Myrtle told me “you always appreciate those things you have to work harder for.”

Some of you think being liked is easy. A bit of banter or sweet talk or beers at the pub will do the trick. The problem with that approach is it’s shallow. It has no depth.

Being respected is so much harder because you have to stick your neck out.

We know that the most trusted and respected in most professions are those that are the most candid. They are constructive but they are also honest. They tell you and their clients what you need to hear.

What About Intelligence Or Wisdom?

A closer contender to the liked vs. respected debate is the intelligence vs. wisdom debate.

For me intelligence is transient, whereas wisdom is life-long.

Having intelligence doesn’t mean you are wise. I know plenty of intelligent academic people who have not reached their potential.

Wisdom is about the miles on the clock. A kid can be a super smart prodigy but not wise.

Wisdom is all about what you do with your intelligence. That’s what makes you wise. How you apply it and how you grow it and learn from it.

Billionaire investors Warren Buffett, Charlie Munger and Ray Dallio are all brilliant examples of people who have collected their intelligence in a multi-disciplinary manner. Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey and Jack Ma are the same.

It’s not what they know, it’s what they did with what they know.

The best advice I can give you?

Respect yourself if you want others to respect you.

Self-respect is so important in today’s world. Make a stand and call out things for what they are. Have clear boundaries because you will always get what you tolerate.

It all starts with you my friend.

What ways can you be more respected? Or do you prefer to be liked?

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