Don’t Tread On Me

I recently finished a best-selling business book which I found insightful and peppered with thought-provoking inspiration. However, despite the riveting read, I couldn’t shake the tone of the “attention-grabbing” introduction. Within this section, the author, an “expert” in his field, continuously insulted those in the helping profession. “Who needs a therapist?” he queried and “What the heck is a life coach, anyway?”

This “tread-on-others” approach, used to garner leverage, attention, and or business, always turns me sour. Unfortunately, I have to admit, his approach worked. The author did grab my attention and did deliver the promised business acumen. But why did he have to stoop so low? As I read on, I was reminded of a speaker I employed to rally attention and drive home the message of building relationships. Much like the author, this speaker used the same style of “attention-grabbing” lead in of insulting others in order to sway listeners to his guaranteed business-building approach. My face still flushes at the memory. I was both surprised and embarrassed that he would insult the attendees in a bizarre way of trying to secure their business. Add to the negative guest feedback, I remind, the speaker was there to inspire—not sell.

I often wonder why we do this. Why do we have to stoop so low and not spend our energies focusing on what we do best? Why is it human nature to think of ourselves before others? And why are there those who tread on others to get to the top? I’m certain, you’ve shared these very same thoughts once or twice before. Perhaps, they popped in mind when a co-worker took credit for something you did, or when someone carelessly tossed you an insult. It happens. We’ve all done it. We’re human. But that is no excuse. We should all strive to avoid this approach in our personal endeavors and never should we employ it in business. I think perhaps the next time it happens, I’ll take a cue from South Carolina Statesman, Christopher Gadsden and his Son’s of Liberty and say “Don’t Tread on Me.”

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