“There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don’t.” Bob, Wiley from What About Bob

To say that there are only two types of people in the world is as ridiculous as Bob’s statement, but for sake of simplicity let’s go with what Bob said and assume in life there are only two types of people. Instead of limiting it those who like Neil Diamond, let’s say that there are those nice, compassionate people and then there are the arrogant go-getters who will sell your liver to get ahead.

Many of the doers in life are viewed as heroes for their accomplishments but spending a day with them is about as much fun as a nice sucker punch to the jejunum. Case in point, Steve Jobs. Revered for his visionary leadership, he was also a documented jerk. Case in point, a conversation between him and Bob Belleville, one of the hardware designers from Xerox, when Jobs said, “Everything you’ve ever done in your life is *+!#, so why don’t you come work for me?”

I think we all want to be considers doers, but few of us aspire to be a jerk. I was recently reminded of one of my less inspiring moments when a building manager nicely asked me to tell my employees to be more courteous to the other tenants in the parking lot. Having had a particularly challenging week, he received an unpleasant stream of condescending barbs launched from an unfiltered tongue. The only thing that helped me forget that past moment of weakness (until recently reminded) was that I immediately called and apologized.

If we want to be viewed as real doers and inspire others to follow, it is not necessary to destroy in the process. As a passionate and self described doer, I close with a quote that I find inspiring.

“In life, the sandpaper of circumstances often smooths our crustiness and patiently polishes our rough edges. There is nothing pleasant about it, however. And the Lord will go to great lengths in order to teach us a particular lesson and to help us to overcome a particular weakness, especially if there is no other way.” Neal Maxwell