Bitterness and Hyperbole…Really:

Recently I opened Facebook and caught a comment by an author whose book had uplifted me and he was joined on the comment thread by another inspiring author. Both of these gentlemen are nationally known speakers and writers on leadership. They speak to the need for authenticity and genuineness in business, and how our intentions matter and how we should look to inspire others with our actions.

And then I read further. They were both complaining about how a specific politician was full of hyperbole and bitterness and how no politician had ever been worse at it.  REALLY do you think Burr and Hamilton were a little over the top when they faced off with pistols? How about the time when Sam Houston caned a fellow Congressman. I think we can all find a politician from the other party (regardless of which side of the aisle you sit) that has expressed hyperbole and bitterness on the other party.

It really has become kind of pathetic. It seems that there is a race between politicians now to see who can say the most disruptive thing the fastest so they can get air time on the media channel of your choice.

But, this isn’t really about politicians. It’s about these “thought leaders” who present to us how we should be authentic with each other, how we should inspire others and to look for the good in others.  And here they were on Facebook in front of thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, expressing bitterness and hyperbole over a politician whose view they did not like while accusing him of bitterness and hyperbole. Does anyone else see the disconnect here?

My friend Charles Green writes about how the rise of social media and our constant status updates can lead to an inauthentic portrayal of ourselves as we constantly seek ways to look good on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. In this case I’m afraid my inspirational authors are no longer quite as inspirational since they actually demonstrated a little more of how they really behave versus the way they write and speak about how we should behave.

Here is what I would have you consider:

  • My wife likes to say, “People will show you who they are. When they do you should pay attention.”
  • This is a little bit a rant about politics and Facebook.  I’ve been there. I’ve thought that because I have an audience I can sway people’s views. Do you know anyone who had their views changed by a Facebook post?
  • Perhaps the biggest point is if we are going to be a leader and if we are to accept that mantle, congruency between what we say and what we do is incredibly important. Your people are watching and what you write online should be congruent with what your write in your books, even if you are a big wheel in the National Speakers Association.

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