Self Promotion

Have you ever noticed how incompetent people like to brag about themselves? Think about it. I'm sure you have known many in your life. I think there are two main reasons for this.
  • Their inability to be productive and show their worth leaves nothing but bragging to highlight their "abilities."
  • They overestimate their abilities in the first place, thinking they are brilliant when they are really the opposite.
A good leader doesn't need to brag. He produces. The braggarts are compensating for their lack of talent. And all too often, the braggarts only make things worse by saying stupid things in their boasting discourses.

My former boss once had a very strange bragging session in a meeting with key workers. It was about a class bowling party one of his children was to attend.

Here is the way it went.

He (the leader) didn't really want to go hang out with a "bunch of bowlers." (Oooh, yuckie!). But then he started thinking. Maybe he could conduct an experiment of his ability to persuade people. So he went. At the bowling alley, he struck up conversations with the "bowlers." The conversations went well, and the bowlers liked him. They were on a first name basis with him! By the time it was over, he was sure that if he had told any of them that his car had broken down, the chances were he would have been offered a ride home.

Now, let's take a look at that story. First, he misjudged his audience. If you can't see that, read it again. Who were the adults there? Were they "bowlers"? Was my boss a "bowler" or was he the parent of a child who was attending a bowling party? Wow. What are the chances that the parents of the other children were there for the same reason? He thought his audience was "bowlers," when in fact they were parents just like him, taking their children to a party at a bowling alley.

Second, how hard is it to get somebody to call you by your first name? I thought this was a common thing in human conversations. But then I'm not a forward thinking business leader, and I haven't had training in slogans, new age communication fads, and other assorted bullshit.

Third, I thought many people would offer to do a small favor on a Saturday morning for somebody who needed a ride home, especially if there is a common link, like having children in the same class at school. To my boss it wasn't that way. To him, it was an achievement that demonstrated his abilities to persuade people to do things for him. Come to think of it, though, that didn't even happen. He was just "sure it would have happened."

Fluff. You gotta love it when you have nothing else going for you!

Comments