“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”

“Whenever you do a thing, act as if all the world were watching.”

—Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States

Image from Unsplash by Marten Newhall

Thomas Jefferson was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, and Founding Father who served as the third President of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence and a significant proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights.

Today’s quote points to the importance of personal character, honesty, and integrity in holding each other to the highest standards of personal conduct.

What might Jefferson think about our world today, where, for all intents and purposes, the world really is watching our every move?

EXERCISE:

How pleased and proud are you regarding your personal and professional conduct? Where is there room for higher standards you wish to live by and show the world?

Six Honest Serving Men

“I had six honest serving men: (They taught me all I knew) Their names were Where and What and When and Why and How and Who.”

—Rudyard Kipling, 20th Century English Journalist & Poet

Begin a conversation with any of the Six Honest Serving Men from Kipling’s quote and you’re off to a great start in learning something new. You may even develop or nurture a new or existing relationship.

Powerful open-ended questions beginning with one of the Six Honest Serving Men open doors to new knowledge. They also demonstrate a genuine interest in others, which we all relish.

For today, I suggest you direct these probing and door-opening words toward yourself, to see what new worlds of discovery lie within.

EXERCISE:

Ask and answer some of your most important and pressing questions of the day. Then consider asking “What Else?” to see what you can learn by probing deeper than your surface answers.

Inspect what you expect

“People don’t do what you expect but what you inspect.”

—Louis V. Gerstner Jr., former CEO of IBM

Image of military inspection

Image from Flickr by Jason Pier in DC

How often in your personal or professional worlds do people let you down by making, then not fulfilling, their promises?

Unfulfilled expectations are key reasons for the upsets we experience on a daily basis.

A simple yet highly effective strategy to bolster the odds of promises being fulfilled is to add accountability and direct inspection to the agreements you reach with others.

The knowledge that you or others will actually be checking up and inspecting the efforts and accompanying results almost guarantees the job gets done.

EXERCISE:

Where in either your personal or professional worlds would an “inspect what you expect” strategy dramatically improve the percentage of promises kept, and the results you desire?

“Being entirely honest with…”

“Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise.”

—Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and the father of psychoanalysis

Photo from imgkid.com

Photo from imgkid.com

Coaches are frequently asked, “What is the difference between coaching, counseling, and therapy?”

A thirty-second post would never do justice to this question. In today’s quote, Freud points to the value and usefulness of creating greater self-awareness, which is a component of each of the three supporting professions.

EXERCISE:

How would greater self-awareness and honesty serve you today?