From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I can feel intimidated, especially in a meeting at which people say smart things, demonstrate great knowledge and have an eloquent way of saying what needs to be said. I am in awe of strong, succinct speakers in a heated debate.
I felt this way recently when the person who sat next to me was well dressed, well educated, highly intelligent and bang on in his delivery of essential comments. Actually, I was both intimidated and inspired. Afterwards, as we were leaving the meeting, his terrific tie caught my attention and for a moment, I went against my natural tendency to speak. But then I gave myself a shake – even in the face of someone so genuinely amazing, I must be me.
So, I commented on the great tie and the very polished outfit altogether – he was pushing the limit of business casual all the way to business formal with the whole fabulous ensemble. He thanked me and then took the time to show me that his tie was a “Giorgio Armani.” Of course, this made sense to me – well educated, executive job, more than capable of great things – and now giving me knowledge of designer clothes.
There it was again – I was intimidated, I was less than – big time. Until he added: “I bought it second-hand for $4.” In a flash he went from superior-bourgeois-intimidating to one of my tribe. Never assume, never shrink in the face of perceived greatness. Instead, rise – we are all good at some things, less at others – and a little thrifty when we need to be.