Take off the mask and buy your own candy!
Well, it’s that time of the year where everyone dresses up and goes through a magic transformation. It’s evaluation time! Oh, I know it’s also trick-or-treat month, but they both have so much in common. Wonderful things have happened to me during the month of October. For one, I was married 44 years ago on the 23rd to the love of my life, and secondly, my awesome and irreplaceable office manager, Michelle, was also born on that same day. I know what you’re thinking—sneaky way to remember, right?
October is also known for that wonderful holiday we call Halloween, where children and those young at heart dress up and pretend they are someone else. Michelle likes to say that it’s the only time you get to be who you really are. Evaluations and Halloween have a lot in common. Both days cause folks to magically transform, and those who come in contact with them usually pretend right along with them. I am a real fan of Halloween and evaluations, and let me tell you why! I believe all of us, from time to time, fall into a rut where we allow muscle memory to take over. There is no better example than myself to prove this point. I am the product of two hard-working parents. My role models gave me direction and inspiration to become more than they believed they could become.
Although not educated, they were the smartest folks I have ever met. They implanted in my brain the lessons of service, caring, hard work, and respect—things I never leaned from any of my three degrees from two fine universities. I did, however, fall into the trap that common stock yields common stock. My grandparents drilled into me to not get above my raising and to hold firm to my beliefs. Just so we are on the same page, this article isn’t going to advise you to become a different person from your parents or those you admire as leaders. On the contrary, it is to inspire you to build on those ideals while doing more and reaching higher. You see, I believe when you look at me, you look into the face of those who made me who I am.
Be the best of who you are and be it tirelessly.
There is a lot of writing today about faking it until you make it. Some have succeeded in being fakers and makers. I call them trick-or-treaters! They wear a mask of success, but inside they are in turmoil—a constant push and pull between who they are and who they are trying to be. Every boss I have ever worked for had the gift of being great evaluators. Did I like what they said? No! But did I listen? Yes! And I grew! Today we live in a culture of me. I love Shakespeare’s line, “To thine own self, be true.” Be the best of who you are and be it tirelessly. So here is my advice: Take off the mask and buy your own candy! Remember, it’s called trick-or-treat, and those two things are diametric opposites.