Seth Godin is an author/entrepreneur whose keen commentary on the post-“TV-Industrial Complex” advertising world I regard similarly as the pious would a holy text. I swear that every sentence I read of his is a golden nugget of contemporary marketing & socio-psychological genius. Today I just wanted to share a concise but poignant blog post of his, that I’ve been feeling reverberate in my bones:
Being open, honest, candid, and forthright: traits not commonly in sync with our increasingly-fragmented culture of (im)personal interaction. It’s probably another reason why I so value the rapport found in many of my friendships: there is almost zero pretension amongst the people I know & like well, so I never have to sift through the small-talk or affected personal fronts, trying to suss out if I’m having a real interaction or it’s a facade or they are just tolerating conversation to get to something they want or…any other non-contributory instances.
When you meet new people and find that they are immediately engaging sans the “I’ll let my guard down once you reveal enough of yourself for me to have the inside scoop on you” front…they are worth your time, attention, and candor. I know for a fact that I have made more than a few introductions uncomfortable because I am unapologetically open and genuine right off the bat…it’s abnormal to toss that protective screen of trite small-talk right out the door before the other party has barely stepped inside the room, so I’m not offended when other people are turned off by my earnest nature (admittedly when I deem it a potentially risky play, I find myself participating in the social norms all the same, if only for the sake of tension-free meetings).
But if that’s their immediate judgment, and they base everything thereafter upon their first impression (as so many are wont to do)…that’s on them, man. I would rather have fewer and far more meaningful interactions, than a superfluous string of connections just for the sake of (see also: my dating game). I have a sneaking suspicion this will either bite me in the ass hard or catapult me leagues ahead, in terms of the business world; advancement in systems based on hierarchy and bureaucracy tends to operate through well-timed ass-kissing and rote social protocols. But for now, I’m super grateful to be lead by a detail-oriented creative who knows how to both teach me ‘that game’ and at the same time guide me to continually put my best foot forward, in both production output and relational management.
And so continue to do my best, I will. That is really all you can do here: be your absolute best. People with either recognize your hustle and jump into your orbit, along for the ride of integrity, or will be too blinded by their own hype and bounce off of you, bumping your shoulder as they high-tail it past in the opposite & unproductive direction. Gratitude for truth to thineself in this game we call life.