Be What You Desire to Appear

So once upon a time, on the rare occasions that I would bring a guy home to meet my parents, my father would always give them the same speech. Each one of his girls (my sister and I) and my mom were his precious jewels and if anyone dared to harm any of us, well…you can fill in the blank.

I think my father had the right idea about using jewels as a metaphor…

Individuals and organizations, alike, are struggling with how they can interact online and offline while maintaining balance of personal and professional personas.There is a lot of talk about maintaining a personal brand, but that path seems so artificial and engineered. Your true colors, whether representing self or organization, are shown in every gesture, facial expression and in the tone of each word spoken or written. A bit difficult to plan your every move and word, don’t you think?

My email signature does not have a million different links to every online location where I contribute to the conversation. Of course, there is some general contact info and my job title, but beneath, I have this quote:

Regard your good name as the richest jewel you can possibly be possessed of – for credit is like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.” – Socrates (469 BC – 399 BC)

This quote is a constant reminder to be Lauren Vargas. Not a socially engineered version of Lauren, but the Lauren who is true to herself and obeys the Golden Rule…no matter how difficult the situation may become. This is a journey about progress, not perfection. At the end of the day, it does not matter what your title is or how much money you make, it is how valuable your true self is…this is your reputation, the only credit that will stick with you until your dying day.

What are the steps you must take to be what you desire to become and preserve your good name?

Responsiveness

Time is precious. Not just for you, but each person. You are not the only person with a job to do or stressing issues. Show the person respect, by replying in a timely manner, even if it is to say you don’t have the answer or have received the message and need more time before replying.

Initiative

Don’t wait to be told what to do or how to do it. See something that needs to be done or a person struggling to finish a project? Reach out and lend a helping hand. You aren’t acting for the pat on the back, but because it was the right thing to do, at the right time.

Tactfulness

I am not sugary. I cannot write fluff. It is not that I refuse, but I do not know how. So, over my career, I have struggled with the tone of my responses. Along the way, I have learned it is NOT about adding false praise or mock conversation, but knowing how to communicate with each person individually and not impose my communication style on anyone else.

Honesty

The truth will make itself known. It is easier to tell the truth than concoct and play out a story. A lie is the quickest way to douse your fire. Take responsibility for yourself, actions and the people around you. It is easier to have a relationship when the other person knows exactly with whom they are interacting.

Adaptability

No person or company can remain the same forever. Have you ever read, The Mixed-Up Chameleon, by Eric Carle? Adapt to your surroundings and avoid adaptation for the sake of keeping up with the cool and colorful crowd. Be yourself as you go along with the flow of life.

Today, I am a diamond in the rough.

What type of jewel would you appraise your reputation? Would others agree with you?

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  • http://cloverdew.com cloverdew

    This is something I can absolutely relate to. In relation to my email signature, I actually just changed it. Instead of it leading to my many connections online, it leads to my main website, my home base, where, if you like, you can find all the other places I’m available online… and the one quote – a poem by e.e. cummings which I feel most adequately sums up how I feel about life and the way I want to live it (my signature follows this comment).

    In order to respect and preserve myself and my own self worth and good name, I am learning, that my own time is precious, just as the time of others and that respect of both parties is important. Learning to say no is appropriate and respectable , replying to state that I need more time is also acceptable and I like to give “status updates” along the way so everyone is aware of the current progress and why we are where we are on a certain project (technical difficulties, illness, or other projects taking precedence if there is an emergency or something… often times people are far more understanding than we give them credit for and I know a lot of my peers get anxious and put off “status updates” for that reason and create more anxiety where none is necessary), open and honest communication and clear, concise statements are usually best. I always ask what I can do that I’m not doing or how I can better serve. I know my communication style doesn’t always suit those around me, so I try to listen as best I can to those around me and try to listen to key words. What is it are they saying exactly and can I speak the same “language” they are using. If someone is a visual learner, can I use visual aids or speech to convey the message – can I literally show them what I am doing on the computer or with my hands, for example? That usually makes it a lot easier.

    Thanks for the reminder on a few key ways to me that diamond in the rough, Lauren…

    Sara Halperin
    cloverdew.com

    love is a place
    & through this place of
    love move
    (with brightness of peace)
    all places

    yes is a world
    & in this world of
    yes live
    (skilfully curled)
    all worlds
    - e.e. cummings