Never Apologize For Being An Original

I’ve owned many motorcycles.  My first one was purchased in the Sixth grade with the funds earned from getting up early every morning and delivering newspapers.  My favorite, however, was a 1998 Honda Valkyrie.   What I liked best about this bike was that it didn’t try to look like any other motorcycle (especially a Harley Davidson).  Honda, unapologetically, took their biggest engine, chromed it out, and slapped it in a cruiser frame.  It was big, fast and beautiful.  It was an original.

I’ve always viewed myself as an original.  Not because I go out of my way to do so but because, like Honda, I am unapologetically me.  Do I make mistakes?  Yes!  Do I worry about what other people might think?  Yes, I’m human (we all do).  Do I try to manage the perceptions others might have of me?  Heck yes!   With all of these (and more) being true, one might wonder how I can be original; worrying about so many things and so many people?  Like, Honda. I don’t try to mimic an original.  I won’t change who I am for anyone and, as leader, neither should you.  The approach or jargon may change to fit the situation and/or person, but authenticity counts.  You are an original!noapologiesforyou

After 27 years of leading people, there is one thing I know for certain:  If I lead from the core of who I am, that authentic voice resonates with those around me and makes me an original.  No one else can lead from my heart.

In this politically correct world, it can be easy to lose the sight of who you are.  The worry about what others might think or what you “should” be doing (as assumed by another’s success) can encumber you in the harness of compromise.  How do I do this?

Through the practice of three things that help me find my authentic, original center to lead from. I….

Know It!

Know what you value, where you stand, and why!  The “why” gives the depth to your convictions.  Don’t just believe or value something because it is what another thinks.   This provides me with the center with which I need to lead, make decisions, and build relationships.

Speak It!

Knowing is one thing, letting others know is something completely different.  I’ve had times where I was afraid to speak up about where I stood on issues.  When I was quiet, I was miserable.  I felt as if I had left a piece of myself on the table.  When I did the opposite, I was not only happier but I also gained the respect of the people around me.  There will be times that circumstances dictate that you stifle your voice but, normally, that’s just fear muzzling your heart.  Break free of fear’s grasp and don’t be muzzled.

Live It!

If your actions are not congruent with what you think you value and what you speak to others then you don’t really believe it.  Further, it will be transparent to everyone around you.  Your team will do as you do and not as you say.  Walk your talk.

As I stated before, I make mistakes in dealing with people as a leader(a lot of them).  I will apologize for a misspoken word or action but I will not apologize for being me.  No one is more aware of Chip Lutz’s faults than Chip Lutz.  Those faults I want to work on, I do.  The others that I don’t, I’ve come to terms with and accept.  Knowing where you stand (and why) and leading from that center makes me an original (and makes you one too).  Be like Honda…be unapologetically you, an original.  (Well, unless you’re an ass, then be a nicer version of you.)

 

Chip Lutz

Chip Lutz

President and Founder at Unconventional Leader, LLC
Lieutenant Commander Chip Lutz, USN(Ret) works with leaders who want to lead better, get more done and leave a legacy. A retired Navy Officer, he has had two command tours and served as the Director of Security for Naval District Washington, DC during September 11th 2001 – where he was responsible for the safety and security of 25,000 people on 9 different Naval Installations in the National Capital Region during one of our Nation’s most trying times. A seasoned educator and trainer, he is currently adjunct faculty for two different universities and has taught over 20 different classes in leadership, management, human resource development, and organizational behavior. He is the author of 3 books, been published in Security Management Magazine, and has had numerous articles on teamwork and leadership published in Zig Ziglar’s Weekly Newsletter.
Chip Lutz
Chip Lutz

Comments

comments

26 Comments

  • March 5, 2014

    AliRodriguez

    You rocked it, Chip!  That’s how I feel as well!  Were we kindred spirits in another life?  (lol)

  • March 5, 2014

    KDillabough

    Well, I only had a Honda Shadow 500, but for me, it was as original as I could get on a motorcycle:) Great points, and I like the distinction between apologizing for acts or mistakes, but not apologizing ever for who you are. Cheers! Kaarina

  • March 5, 2014

    iConnectGlobal

    Hope_Center Thanks for sharing! It’s now featured on http://rbl.ms/1htP31E

  • March 5, 2014

    davidspruell

    gingerconsult You are most welcome! BruceSallan

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    MarkSFernandes Thanks, Mark!

  • March 5, 2014

    marksalke

    Hey Chip,

    Great post, man! But that’s not a Valkyrie! What up with that?

    🙂 Mark

  • March 5, 2014

    Jen Olney

    marksalke it’s pretty close – unfortunately there is a such a little thing as copyright… 🙂

  • March 5, 2014

    Jen Olney

    KDillabough  Very nice Kaarina. I didn’t know you rode a bike? My friends have Harley’s – used to ride before our son was born.

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    TheSimonJordan gingerconsult Thanks!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    KDillabough gingerconsult Thanks, Kaarina!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    bdorman264 gingerconsult Thanks, Bill!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    BlairGlaser gingerconsult Thanks, Blair!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    Hans_Hirschi gingerconsult Thanks, Hans!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    BWitzenhausen gingerconsult Thanks, Belinda!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    charmainevw RandyConley gingerconsult Thanks!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    HometownRE gingerconsult Thanks, Randall!

  • March 5, 2014

    chiplutz

    KellyMcCormick_ gingerconsult Thanks, Kelly!

  • March 5, 2014

    KDillabough

    Jen Olney I stopped riding a few years ago and sold the bike. To everything there is a season 🙂

  • March 5, 2014

    AlaskaChickBlog

    Kindred spirits? Naa, I just want to adopt him! LOL ~ Skipper, this by far, nails it. I feel as if I am paddling with everything I have to keep my head above water ~ and it is, because I found people like the ones I am surrounded by in #bealeader. It feels really good to know that as long as I follow Rule #1, in my Life Rule Book which is Be Right, and as long as I am Walking the Talk, every day, every hour; with all the humans I have found on this journey to guide me along, we will all come out for the better.

    I never considered originality before it was brought up here. I feel that looking very closely, I have never been anything but who I am. However, today, I feel that I am much closer to walking the right path. I have never been afraid to stand up for myself, but today I feel that I have made many mistakes and hope to never forget any of them while keeping close what I have learned from others. I have never been afraid or hesitated to stand for others, but today I feel as if I see others clearer than I have in the past.

    Thanks for a great boost for the day, Skipper.

  • March 5, 2014

    KellyMcCormick_

    My pleasure. chiplutz

  • March 5, 2014

    AliRodriguez

    AlaskaChickBlog – Wow Amber-Lee, my sentiments exactly.  You said it all for me.  Talk about being original and unique!  All you have to do is take a look in the mirror.

  • March 5, 2014

    Jen Olney

    KDillabough Oh, I know the feeling. 🙂

  • March 6, 2014

    chiplutz

    Red_Beard_Bros SkipPrichard gingerconsult Thanks!

  • March 6, 2014

    chiplutz

    GirlyGrizzly Thanks, bealeader-mate! I hope you’re closing out this week with GUSTO!!

  • March 10, 2014

    patweber

    .TonyMackGD chiplutz gingerconsult ♥.¸.•Thx*¨`*.♥ 4 RT!

  • March 10, 2014

    chiplutz

    patweber TonyMackGD gingerconsult You bet!