Not long ago I met an individual who was a successful manager at a large company in the DFW area. Upon meeting him he came across as a very nice and professional person. It wasn’t long before I recognized how incredibly smart he was; His business knowledge and ability to resolve problems was off the charts.

Over six months or so we had several business dealings and while I was impressed with his knowledge and experience something just wasn’t matching up. I observed him interact with people and was picking up an undertone that wasn’t quite as polished as his business sense.

One day in a team meeting I found the answer to my suspicions. The manager began telling everyone a story of a time when he was mentoring a young business leader. The mentee had come to him with some frustrations that he was having with a project and the people on his team. The manager’s response blew me away. He told those of us in the meeting that day that his guidance to the young man was, and I quote, “…that most people are stupid.”

I couldn’t believe my ears! How could a person with his influence and position dare to plant such negative seeds? I only hope was  the mentee was smarter than his mentor and did not give the advice any credit. Despite the manager’s experience and abilities, he proved to have a weakness; he didn’t see the value in others.

What you believe about people may be your reality, but it is not reality

I remember when I was much younger I worked as a car salesman in Georgia. The dealership I worked at sold a lot of trucks so we saw all types of business people coming in to finance trucks for work and pleasure. One day an old farmer looking man came in to the dealership. He had holes in his overalls, was chewing tobacco that was running down his beard and looked like he hadn’t bathed in a week. A person would have thought he was homeless.

Something happened though that caught my attention. The number one salesman at the dealership went eagerly walking up to the farmer. They went to his office and began to laugh and talk. Long story short…an hour later the farmer drove out of the dealership with one of the top of the line trucks. Guess what else. He paid cash! I later found out that this guy owned several businesses and bought several trucks a year and always had the cash in his pocket! Our perceived reality is not always reality, so be careful what you believe about people. What you see is  not always what you get.

What you believe about people will be seen through your

actions, not your words

What was interesting aboutthe manager’s comments was moments later in his conversation he stated he tried to believe the best about people. Unfortunately those were just words and not his true beliefs and anyone serving under his leadership could sense his true feelings. I had only known him only a short while and picked up on his sentiments so you can be guaranteed that anyone who worked closely with him knew what he was really about.

All the positive words in the world will never cover over a

negative belief


If you think you are the smartest, you are only proving how little you know

If you want to advertise that you are ignorant just go around belittling others. People might not tell you to your face, but they are thinking it. If you have to tell people how brilliant you are…you’re not. No one ever did anything great by themselves. We need other people and if we are going to get the best from those we lead we must believe the best about them. Leaders have to do more than use words of positive reinforcement; we have to truly believe in people.

If you are a an expert in your field  remember there is no room for pride. Be glad you have the opportunity to teach others what you know. Be a person who people want to go to in order to find the answers; not the last resort because they don’t want to be cut-down and walk away feeling stupid.


God gave everyone  talents. The difference is that our bucket of talents are different from person to person. One might be strong in communication while another is a financial wiz. Some are comfortable in front of an audience of a 1000 while others prefer a cubicle in the background.

Just because your bucket of talent is different does not make you any better or any worse than someone else. Find your worth in your unique resource of giftedness. Embrace the talents of those you come in contact with and appreciate what they bring to the table.

Believe in people and they will believe in you

Share your thoughts. I enjoy hearing from you!

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