Rock solid conviction. Absolute certainty. 100% correct. Rammed to the very brim with self-belief. We all like to be right, right?
Hang on a mo, tho. Even I, the (less than proud) possessor of a somewhat forceful personality, one which has unpleasant tendencies to veer towards the zealotry end of the certainty spectrum, know that it’s simply not possible to be on the money about every single subject under the sun. Having said that, for someone like me who’s learned to pile on the protective layers to cover up a soft centre and dyed-in-the-wool insecurities, ‘fessing up to being factually incorrect, wide of the mark, or even just plain wrong, can feel a whole lot like failure (and BTW, I know I’m right when I say we all share that secret pain).
Sadly, in small business, even teeny, tiny, sole trading outfits like mine, there’s not an awful lot of room for getting it wrong. Making mistakes is all part of the human condition, natch, and blunders can take on a momentum beyond your control (just ask Sam Allardyce), but ultimately, getting it right more times than not is the name of this game. Seems to me that to achieve any kind of success, you’ve really got to have the courage of your convictions. And for the record, I’m not talking about skilled sales pitchers or confidence tricksters here. That’s not being right. That’s just sh*te.
Yup, you’ve simply got to believe that you’re bang on, as much as possible, most of the time. You need to know your stuff inside and out, and not be afraid to speak from the heart and the knowledge-based head to clients and customers who might otherwise be floundering about. You need a level of self-belief that’s not easily shaken. Or at least, when it does get a good shake, it settles down sharpish .
Look, I’m not daft, I’m well aware that there’s a pile of contradictions to fight your way through to achieve this level of certainty. Having wobbles about your own righteousness, even big bad wobbles, ain’t necessarily a bad thing. Sociopaths and certain members of my family aside, there ain’t a single one of us that can be right all of the time Having the good grace to say sorry, or to admit it when you’ve got something right royally wrong is an equally important part of the right stuff. But if my own experience in small biz is anything to go by, there’s usually not much time for angst and self-recrimination. So when those horribly familiar moments come calling, when you feel the foundations of self-righteousness crumbling, you’d better call in the reinforcements tout suite. Too right.
Me? I know that I’m right when it comes to my communications mantra. I know for a fact that some of the people I work with might miss a trick because their core messages are muddled. But just because I believe that I’m right doesn’t mean that everyone else needs to agree with the Damer dogma. Disagreement is good and debate is healthy, but you’ll forgive me if sometimes I get in a mood and throw the dummy out of the ring of righteousness. Balance, perspective and self-belief will return in jig time.
After all, I don’t need to be right all of the time. Just right enough.