Business Coach : Choose What You Do
-Do you– do you ever have somebody say some horrible, nasty, racist stuff to you?
-When I was growing up I did.
-And did you ever move on?
-Well, you got to keep in mind in my world, that level of ignorance was commonplace.
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): So you classified it as ignorance.
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): You didn’t get angry?
-I don’t think I got angry.
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): Really?
-Because you know, my grandfather had a statement. He is so funny. He said, white people are sick, but they’ll get well after a while.
-So we never– I mean, if you dwelled on that all the time, you’d go crazy. The mindset of a business coach.
-Well, there’s people who still dwell on it all the time. There’s people who you know, dwell on air– not just racism, but any air. They’re stuck, and they’re still talking about how their mother abandoned them, or how they had racist treatment, or how they grew up poor. They can’t move on. You know, there’s rappers. I know rappers who are still angry about– there’s one rapper– he’s actually a Caucasian rapper, but he’s perpetually angry about how he was raised. They get stuck there. We can’t move on. Why is it that some people can’t seem to move on? because they do not have a business coach.
-Well, you know, you have to look at this. I mean, what is his records about?
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): Eh, pretty much, being mad at his mom.
-OK. And how much money is he making?
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): A lot of money.
-Why would he want to move on?
INTERVIEWER (OFFSCREEN): That’s a good point.
-OK. So you think, so really, the key to being a good sellout, or to make the most records, is to actually just stay angry.
-Well, if that’s what you’re selling.
-That’s a notable quotable– “stay angry and sell rap records.”
-That’s what he’s selling.
-Now, here we go.
Martin Luther King, Jr. famously wrote, “darkness: cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
Have you you seen this concept proved to be true in your own life?
-You know, I wrote a book called “The Invitation” which really gave me a clear picture of that reality. My paths crossed with those of a lady, almost 90, Caucasian lady. I thought she was a retired schoolteacher, but I later found out she was much, much more than that. And our paths crossed for five years. Well, she represented the generation that broke the rules that I had to live by. But all of those five years, this lady at the evening of her life, as I would call it, in my presence and in these relationships, broke all of those rules that her generation would have created, giving me a clear example of what is possible.
-So a woman who grew up in the time of segregation, where she actually might have endorsed it–
-Very easy could have–
-Now comes full circle in her later years and begins to treat you with kindness and respect.
-I don’t necessarily treat me with kindness and respect, which she did. But I think she made a great discovery about something much bigger, that she had a gift that was much bigger than her color, and much bigger than her economic status, and that was our shared humanity.
-Now let me ask you this here. You’ve chosen to not become bitter. You’ve chosen to become better. How can somebody choose to be successful? How could somebody choose to become better when they feel better? This is the questions a business coach will ask.
Let give you an example. I remember early in my business career, I had a guy who just wronged me. He was a young guy we brought into our business, did everything I could possibly do to help the guy. Find out one day he is still my customers’ competing head to head. I wanted to surgically remove his head. You know, that’s what I wanted to do. And it’s been a struggle for me to not want to get even. And even to this day, I still, like, I got to tell myself, [GROWLING].
How do you train yourself?
-It’s very difficult to not want to get even. Because I think that’s our natural default. But I also think that we have a better self that requires of us to do different things and to respond differently in situations like that. Let the other person go his or her way, and you maintain your own sense of self, your own set of values, and be led and guided by those, rather than the circumstances. Because at the end of the day, you can leave a much better picture of what is possible. Just like the older lady in South Carolina, she left me a much clearer picture– not a story, but a real, direct picture of what is possible.