So They Say
Many people throughout history have uttered memorable quips and one liners.
Many of these utterances are well known because they were said during a turning point in history. An example would be “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” made by FDR during his 1933 inaugural address.
Although inspiring quotes can move one to action, modern day man seems fascinated by a series of words strung together with some sort of poetic beauty.
Barack Obama held a talent for elegant speech, as do many politicians. Such admirations seem to put less validity in what you say and more on how you say it. After all, Obama took the highest office of the land partly by his command of the English language. Few would argue that was one reason a junior US senator could managed to get elected to the highest office of the land without completing his first term.
Some my own include “Going in the wrong direction is easy to identify: it feels like you are going nowhere. If you are wondering where are you going in life, its likely you are going in the wrong direction, where you go in life depends a lot on who you hook your cart to, the first step in making a change in your path for the better is first realizing you are currently on the wrong one, the hardest part of change is realizing you have to”
Although a string of words can be poetic in nature, we often give an unearned admiration to people who can come up with such things on an ongoing basis.
The art of language mastery is often confused with intelligence, business sense, common sense and what some call “street wise”. The best example is often represented in politics where those that can speak well get elected to public office.
We must be careful not to confuse the ability to speak well and develop catch phrases that please with the ability to run a city or administrate a constituency.
On the contrary, we often find those that talk a good game not being able to live up to their own rhetoric.
I often run into many that are advising others on what to do yet they themselves have spotty resumes a mile long.
Many of these people seem to prosper despite not being able to hold a steady job for a significant length of time or perhaps many of their past business endeavors have failed miserably.
Despite such repeated failures, somehow the gift of gab has enabled a career of sorts advising others. By them being able to string together a slick sounding plan or mantra, they end up teaching others how to succeed.
It’s almost like the accomplishment of repeated failures gives them a license to advise others on what do to as long as they can sound good doing it.
In my many years in business, both financial and media, I have run into countless people trying to sell me their “advice” on how to better succeed.
I can usually and easily spot the true experts from the fakers.
The ones that may be able to assist me have held successful and long careers either in employment or businesses of their own. The fakers on the other hand may have a long history of job changes, no pattern to an employment theme (being in the same business for long), held businesses that they had closed up (in contrast to selling them for a profit), or whose majority of titles included positions in volunteer organizations or on the board of directors of some non-profit. Public office also seems to be popular among those who make a living advising people on how to do something they themselves have been unable to do, and that is make an honest living.
In conclusion, I know this article has a harsh sound to it, as well as having a tint of judgement in its weaving, but the subject is a serious one.
Following the advice of those we admire because of the sole ability to convey a message eloquently can be a dangerous practice. When looking to mentors, leaders, advisors and coaches, make sure they themselves have been successful in whatever it is they are trying to teach you.
Being able to talk a good game may sound good, but their words might be nothing more than words, with no successful experience to back them up.
Instead of admiring their slick mantras and quips, ask to see their resumes, what businesses they have successfully run for a long period of time (10 years or more), what jobs they held for an extended period (5 years or more) and what concrete evidence do they have of actually being successful. Ignore the fancy sounding titles and abbreviations after their name (the ones you likely have never heard of) and if looking for business or career advice, above all ask them how much they’re worth.
For more on fakers and others you should avoid, you can see my previous article entitled “The types of workers” here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/classification-worker-types-classic-i-really-liked-doing-cuniberti?published=t
This article expresses the opinions of Marc Cuniberti and are opinions only and should not be construed or acted upon as individual investment advice. Mr. Cuniberti is an Investment Advisor Representative through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Marc can be contacted at MKB Financial Services 164 Maple St #1, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 823-2792. MKB Financial Services and Cambridge are not affiliated. His website is www.moneymanagementradio.com. California Insurance License # OL34249