Do You Want to Know What’s Beautiful? It’s Modesty!!

Went to a business luncheon a couple of weeks ago, and the guy next to me bragged about “how he doubled sales and increased the size of his staff by 50%.”  Huh?  It wasn’t a job interview. It was a luncheon.

Have you noticed how many people on LinkedIn call themselves visionaries?  Who says they are?  Isn’t that what other people should say about you, not something you say about yourself?  I’m no visionary but if I were, I wouldn’t say that.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been in Japan a long time [22 years], but there is something really beautiful about modesty.

I don’t mean the kind of modesty of “covering up” when you’re in your undies and guests come.

I mean the kind of modesty where you don’t talk about your achievements, even if they are substantial.  The kind of modesty when you say “thank you”, or  “it was nothing” when others compliment you.

The kind of modesty that Japanese people show when they bring a home- made intricately-layered apple pie to your home, and say, “it’s a small something.”

The wonderful thing about modesty is that it really enhances your reputation.

Bragging about your accomplishments detracts from your reputation.

It’s usually not the truth either: It’s an enhancement of the truth.

Heard that one of my least-favorite restaurants was closing.  Every time I went there, the chef told me that he was a great chef, and he told me how delicious the food was.  The place was always empty.  The food wasn’t good either.

And he made it even worse by telling everyone how good it was.

If you’re really that good, let others talk about you or as I’ve written before, “let your work speak.”

There are of course times when you do have to talk about what you’ve done.  In a job interview, perhaps in a performance review, but if you’ve got results to show, that always beats the talk.


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