Congruent and Calibrated
Two of my favorite words. You should sprinkle them liberally in your conversations. These two words make you sound really smart, and no one really knows what they mean so they can’t argue with you.
But seriously, Congruent and Calibrated should never leave your side. In any endeavor, but especially leadership.
In all situations, be Congruent with yourself. With all people, without losing that congruency, be Calibrated to who they are.
Let’s apply this concept right now, right here, to you. This is a self-help blog. You are here to help your self. That implies that you think your self could use some improvement. Cool. Nobody’s perfect though Lebron lately has been close on the basketball court. So you are reading all this social dynamics stuff, you want get in the game and try it out. There’s a temptation to fake it til you make it. Which I whole-heartedly endorse. But in faking it, you might also be tempted to fake your self. Like, lose your core identity in a vague effort to grab some situational status.
I/we are not about that here.
Harken back to the Psychological weight-lifting we were doing a few posts ago: Know Thyself/Be Thyself. I forget, I think that was item number five or six, though the order is not too relevant. Psychological Strength grows from being thyself, and being true to thyself. If this were a rap song, we’d call it keeping it real. Like really real, not fake real. Fake real sucks.
Congruency with yourself is not optional. To succeed at the highest levels of leadership, you need authenticity. You are asking people to follow you, to believe in you, to go to war for you, to take a bullet for you, to bleed for you. Formulaic, robotic, textbooky leadership will not inspire this level of commitment. Neither will showmanship. Any hint of fakeness, of hollow rhetoric, of gimmick, and you lose your power to inspire and lead. So think on all these concepts we discuss on offwins, and all the other red and white covered biz books collecting dust on yourself, and try them out, but don’t try to become someone else in the process.
Some organizations call this “Authentic Leadership.” Others call it “Value-based Leadership.” I call it Congruency cuz Congruency just sounds so much cooler than that other stuff.
Calibration with others is not optional.
Bizness is about relationships. Connection with others starts with Acknowledging them as a person. As in they have value merely by existing and being a unique person. This concept indwells many psychological, philosophical, and religious systems of thought. It forms the basis of Christian thought and Stoic philosophy, among others. The next step would be Acceptance. Last, if you want to really connect with them, you have to find something in them you can Affirm.
That’s hard. You have to take your eyes off yourself and really see the person there in front of you. Their story, their values, their humanness (whatever the hell that means), the divine spark in them that the ancient Greek philosophers referred to (of course, if its guy to guy, you can also just talk about sports, too, but that lacks true substance). Lacking this depth, and your networking merely becomes a business card exchange ritual.
Acknowledge-Accept-Affirm. Those Greeks I mentioned, like Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates, upon which all of Western Civ is built, besides boring you to death in your HS Latin class, called this “Philea.” This is one of the four classical forms of love, the others being “Agape,” “Storge,” and “Eros.” The latter being the type of love advertisers mercilessly exploit to sell us stuff we don’t need.
A quick glance at Wiki: “Philia (φιλία philía) means affectionate regard or friendship in both ancient and modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity.”