I’d like to share a true story from my history with you. Back in 1969, my dad, who was career military, was being sent to Vietnam. Because of a series of circumstances, my mother and I ended up living with my grandmother in this black neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. When she first bought the house, it was a nice middle class area, but by the time we got there it had declined into a ghetto; harsh, but true.


Dad & Me,
December 1969

I was something totally different than what these kids were used to seeing. Because I’d gone to better schools out of state, I was way ahead of them in every single subject. Because we’d had at least a modicum of a nice income (when you live on a military base, things cost way less), I had very nice clothes. My mother made sure I looked, well, as pristine as a 10 year old can look going to school every day; that was her style.
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Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2018 Mitch  Mitchell

It seems that many people have found a way to get around their stance against politically correct speech. They say or do what they want, then when they’re called on it they apologize after the fact. But the apology is not only false, but they don’t apologize for what they’ve done. Instead, they apologize if what they said or did bothered anyone.

The First To Apologize
Live Life Happy via Compfight

Such was the case for a show called Big Brother a few years ago. Charges of racism were doled out against some of the participants on the show, who were caught on camera yet not on the TV show (seems the cameras are always running and others can watch a live feed) saying things that showed who they really were inside. I’m still trying to figure out how people forget that they’re being watched and taped 24/7 with cameras and microphones everywhere (even in the bathroom from what I hear, though aimed at showers instead of toilets) but they do.

The three finalists and one person eliminated earlier all lost their jobs and had their companies disassociate themselves from these people because of things they said when they forgot where they were. The one eliminated early first tried to explain her behavior, then cried and tried to apologize, but it was too late for that. The other three learned at about the same time what people saw and what was being said about them. One of them was lucky to have won $500,000 on the show; the other two weren’t so lucky.

Politicians are great at doing and saying things that are meant to stir up controversy and trouble and then back down later on with a false apology. It’s a common practice these days; say what you want then apologize for it. Sometimes voters do the right thing and oust those people but many times they don’t care and will put a phony back in office. It shows a lack of ethics, but it is what it is.

The #MeToo movement has brought about a lot of apologies… some of them quite unexpected. I wasn’t surprised by the apologies of men who messed up; I’ve been surprised by the number of women who said something “incorrectly”, then ended up apologizing for it. Social media is a juggernaut few people have actually learned how to handle… I’ll put myself on that list, even though I’ve been online for close to 15 years.

I’m someone who tends to believe that if you’re really apologizing then you should do it sincerely to the person you’ve aggrieved. I’ll admit that there are times when I apologize to someone for another person’s bad behavior, whether or not I know the other person; I have no idea why I do that.

There are other times when I say something, mean it, don’t care who doesn’t like it and will often end it with “yeah, I said it!” Most of the time it’s when the topic concerns racism or diversity issues. Those posts are honest and hard hitting and I’m saying something I feel needs to be said. If you’re ready to back up your position no matter what, at least you’re being honest with yourself, even if others don’t like it. In that case, there’s no need to even think of apologizing unless you’re calling out a specific person who’s innocent of what you might be accusing them of.

Luckily, I’m never as mean as a lot of other people can be when I’m telling truths. If I thought I was off the mark, I’d apologize in an instant. I try to go out of my way so that I eliminate as often as possible the need to apologize, but sometimes a person might take something you said the wrong way. Apologizing in those instances isn’t difficult as long as you’re trying to correct the message at the same time.

What I really hate are those people who say something, then apologize, not for what they said but the blanket “if you were offended by what I said then I apologize”; how sincere does that sound to anyone without an explanation?

It takes courage to apologize when necessary, but it takes both courage and sincerity to be apologizing for the right reason. That’s my take on it anyway; what say you?
 

Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2013-2018 Mitch  Mitchell

I belong to a small number of groups on LinkedIn. One in particular is geared towards jobs in health care. I’m not looking for a job, but every once in a while someone is looking for a consultant who does what I do, so I like to keep my options open.


I feel like Superman,
but I’m not

Some years ago there was an interesting post that showed up. In the email I received, it said the offer was a unique consulting opportunity where one could work from home. I thought ‘hey, that works for me’, and immediately logged onto the site to check it out.
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Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2018 Mitch  Mitchell

Most people in leadership positions in this country are pretty lucky. Why? Because it seems that no matter what they do, no matter how they treat those who report to them, and some of the people who don’t directly report to them, that because people need jobs they can get away with a lot of bad behavior that, in real life outside of the workplace, would be unacceptable.

Leadership
Pedro Ribeiro Simões via Compfight

Over all my years, I’ve seen many people who get a taste of power and immediately lose perspective on who they are and the responsibility that this sudden boost of “power” gives them. Sometimes what makes a person a bad leader is not taking charge and pulling people together towards a common goal. Most of the time what makes a bad leader is forgetting that once upon a time you were where the people who report to you are now.
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Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2014-2018 Mitch  Mitchell

I’ve been in business over 17 years. When I started out, I had no idea what I was doing or what to do. I came from health care, hospitals in particular, and always worked in markets where mine was the only hospital in the area. This means we didn’t worry about marketing all that much, only putting out press releases when we were offering new services.

business supplies
stux via Pixabay

What this means is that I made a lot of mistakes early on, even though I got my first contract within 3 months and my first speaking engagement a month after that. I went through some hard times until I finally figured things out, and then went through more hard times when the economy tanked for a couple of years.
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Digiprove sealCopyright protected by Digiprove © 2018 Mitch  Mitchell
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