2 things prompted this little thought, which in it's self has turned into a new years resolution for me that may be one of the hardest to keep out there.
It's not got anything to do with quitting something, or starting up something new, but actually is about doing something that we need to overcome in ourselves. Not just me, but all of us.
The two things that prompted this resolution are these:
1. This post from Bernie about being connected to people
2. This video from Tony Porter from the recent TEDWomen conference
Bernie speaks about a new kind of people who are emerging as business people in 2011 as people who;
"...don’t chase big names, they chase big problems, and they don’t have lots of rubbish badges on their web page or write ‘working in partnership with’ on everything they own. Instead they spend the time getting to know people and are honest about how they work..."
In Tony Porter's TED talk he talks about how Men need to get out of the "man box" which we so often hammer ourselves into, a place where we lose something of ourselves. He says we need to come to a place where's OK to be "whole".
These two thoughts got me to thinking about how we can spend 2011. How we can do extraordinary things. How we can be people who change our worlds and the world's of others. How we can do life just that little bit differently.
I am talking about being real. Working in the world of marketing where it's all about appearance and managing reputation, not just of our clients but our own, it can be pretty bloody difficult to stick to our guns about who we are. About what makes us tick, or angry or what causes us pain or joy or grief or unutterable happiness. Because, as we have gotten used to sharing so much of the minutiae of our lives with one another online we have become aware of our own filters. Aware of what we share about ourselves so as to only present the version of ourselves that we would have others see. We have become our own editors.
Now sure some of this is for the good. It stops us from lashing out when we are wronged, or posting that Facebook photo that we may very shortly regret or even being labelled with an Overshare Foursquare badge. But I think the problem is that when this consciousness of our own reputation begins to permeate all of our relationships it becomes intensely difficult for us to be real with one another.
Take the example - in the pub with some business people. Maybe after the conference or event or even day at work has finished and you are sharing a drink and breaking bread. How often is there one or more people at the table who are still in presentation mode? Still doing the hard sell, or name dropping because they feel they have to? I think this may be becoming a social trend that will get gradually worse if we don't watch ourselves - and the result isn't just ugly, it's dangerous.
Let's commit to making 2011 the year where we get this right, living life out together but without the bullshit. Without the corporate speak. Without the hard sell. Let's make this the year where we get real.