On a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles, I experienced this lesson first-hand. Seated two rows behind me were three individuals who decided to strike up a conversation about an industry I have years of experience, and countless contacts, in. Anything but discreet, the conversation lasted for nearly an hour with two of the individuals trash-talking several Board members from a respected organization I have worked with. Exiting the plane, I recognized one of the individuals as a former client of mine. Later, I saw these individuals jovially chatting it up with said Board members at a conference we were attending.
This situation encouraged me to always mind my surroundings. Conversations in coffee shops, cell phone calls in public, even discussions in an open office space – you never know who is listening. Unless you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by airing confidential topics and dirty laundry in public, I suggest you govern yourself accordingly. And for those who spread false rumours and gossip to throw people off, why bother? It’s a waste of your time and resources.
I always recommend people know who their trusted advisors are. Personally, I have four people whom I trust unconditionally. These people have never let me down and have always been the pillars I lean on for great advice. If you don’t have people like this in your inner circle, find them. If you do, take a moment to thank them.
For those in my circle, you know who you are. Thank you.
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