I have been blessed to receive feedback from some folks that I am kind and encouraging. I’m grateful because that is how I want to live and work. While I am CCD I seek to be kind, even if it’s a hard conversation to have. One of my Worldviews is that truth is not nice. Truth is kind. I’ll share one of my more memorable examples…BTW, this is a 100% true story.
As a newly-minted MBA I worked in the oilfield equipment business in Houston. It was the early ‘80’s and it was a total ‘good ole boys’ world. I got it. I loved the work. I was totally fine being me in their world. I liked these guys AND I knew who I was working with.
Our HQ and manufacturing plant were in an out-of-the-way, commercially undeveloped area of Houston that was primarily industrial. Now it’s 100% built up, back then, not much. It was a Friday and some of my colleagues invited me to go out to lunch. For our younger readers, back in the day before tax reform it was the era of the 3-martini lunch for the C-suite. Many Fridays they were gone by 11:30 AM for the day, so the rest of us knew we could go out for more than the 45 minutes allotted for lunch.
BTW, I was the only female in this crew of colleagues and I was at least 10-15 years their junior. These were good guys. Family men. Smart execs. I enjoyed working with them.
We pile into Dan’s sedan and off we go. There were no restaurants for at least 20 minutes. As we’re driving I think to ask, ‘Hey, y’all, where are we going for lunch?’ Good thing I asked…
Guys: The Strip Club!
Me: HAIL no. We are not going to a strip club!!!
The bitching and moaning commenced from my colleagues. This was the era before cell phones and Uber so yeah, I was stuck. However I was clear on my Core, even in my early 20’s.
Me: We are NOT going to a strip club.
I made eye contact with Dan in his rearview mirror. I was sitting behind him. He saw total shoot in my eye, Andrew Jackson style.
Me: Dan, you and your family live near here…there has to be another option for lunch.
Dan’s shoulders slumped and his head dropped a tad.
Dan: Yeah, well, there’s a Chuckie Cheese about 2 miles that way.
Me: We’re going to Chuckie Cheese!
The bitching and moaning in the car ratcheted up to 90 decibels.
Me: Men, we are going to Chuckie Cheese.
Post-script: The guys got their pizza and pitchers of beer, as planned. They even got their stage show, albeit a creepy animatronic one, not their first choice. My Core was clear. I was not backing down. Not surprisingly my Friday lunch invites dried up after that day. OK by me. All good. These were good guys, my teammates.
I chose to be kind, not nice that day. Nice would have gone along to get along. I stayed true to my Core. And maybe it made my colleagues think, at least for a moment, about their own.
Kindness comes from your Core. Build your kind Core. And I hope you have better lunch options than Chuckie Cheese ;).