Having a good but … can give you the license to make change happen

The 2020 CX Report gathers trends on how business happens in the computational era by examining the tech stacks for marketing and products in the context of digital transformation.

A former White House press secretary once told me that even the most milquetoast or horridly enfant terrible of personalities gets reshaped in interest levels when after their being described, “Have a good ‘but’ ….”

Usage:

  • Javier is an *sshole, but …
  • Cassidy is soooo slow, but …
  • Freddie talks ad nauseum and says the boringest things, but …
  • Gelana walks too fast while she’s reading, but …

So even if you’re not beloved, it’s still possible to be respected. Having a “good but” is important, if you are going to have perceived negative qualities. When you’re a change agent, you’re going to be piled on with all kinds of projections by people you’ve never interacted with directly — and it tends to be negative more than positive (because darkness is more powerful than the light … unfortunately).

After a long career in the public eye, and having generated countless reasons for why someone might dislike me, I believe that what’s kept me going is that I have a few, so-so buts that keep me from losing momentum. I also am in constant learning mode with the goal to improve myself through learning, learning, learning.

In summary, have a few good buts. But also, try not have a reason for being considered flawed. Do the work of listening to what people say about you — not to follow their commands, but to discover the ounce of truth that comes in every pound, ton, or kiloton of feedback.

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