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Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 1)

Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 1)

This is Part One (of Three) describing 15 qualities of the ideal man. Each part will discuss 5 key qualities to embrace in order to design the superior man.

As a father to a beautiful two-year-old girl and a husband to an amazing woman, I am constantly seeking out ways to improve myself. There are a number of books and articles describing how to be a better man, however, there is one book that stands above the rest as the guide to being the ideal man or a Randian Hero – this book is The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.

In this fantastic novel, Howard Roark is the hero. He is a brilliant and innovative architect who never compromises or deviates from his principles. Just as a man similar to Roark in today’s society, he is criticized and persecuted by people who are willing to compromise personal integrity. Where Roark does not attempt to influence people, his enemies practice the art of manipulation and use their ability to control the weak. These people represent the parasites of the world and they exist all around us.

In order to be a better man, we can use Roark as our example of what every man should strive to become. Using examples from The Fountainhead and similar books, we can identify key traits of superior men. Here are the first five qualities of the ideal man.

1. Squash the Parasite

“No man can give another the capacity to think.” – Ayn Rand

Superior men move the world forward. Nothing is given to them, they ferociously work for everything they have. Ayn Rand described two types of men: those who survive by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. Strong men do not need others, where a parasite needs others and feeds off them like a leech.

Parasites fear strong and powerful men. They will never confront you but will use manipulation tactics to attack you behind your back. I work with a large number of them and have been attacked by multiple. These parasites feel entitled and push their work off on others, yet, still attempt to take credit.

I am a leader under attack in my organization. Those parasites I work with are peers and others in superior rank. I am not afraid to confront them. When I do, they use tactics you would expect from a cockroach. Recently, I had a couple of them use these tactics in an attempt to remove me from my post.

2. Start Counting When it Hurts

“I only start counting when it starts hurting, when I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, cause that’s when it really counts.” – Muhammed Ali

This quote was in response to a question directed at Muhammed Ali when he was asked how many sit-ups he could do. He provided the perfect response!

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Superior men are black belts in the mind and body. They do not fear to attempt new things, even if those things leave them feeling awkward or embarrassed. These elite men are not afraid to enter the arena and do not start thinking about success until it hurts.

One of our greatest leaders once said, “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who at best knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt (excerpt from Daring Greatly by Brene Brown)

3. Stop Caring

“Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.” – Will Smith

You can interpret #3 in two ways: stop caring about anything and give up, or you can use the correct interpretation and stop caring so much about what other people think of you.

Superior men take control of their life. It is an amazing feeling when you simply stop caring about what other people think. Start eliminating things in your life that do not matter, that add no value. Focus only on the things and people that add value to your life. In fact, immediately stop communicating with people who add no value, purposely ignore these parasites who try to bring you down. Be candid with these people if you do have to acknowledge them. If they ask you a question or confront you (in person, on the phone, or electronically) either ignore them or provide a simple response, regardless of the intent of the conversation – “No” – this is the perfect response.

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4. Fight For and Defend Your Family

“The first rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club… The second rule about fight club is you don’t talk about fight club.” – Chuck Palahniuk

Just to be clear, I am not advocating the reenactment of the movie Fight Club (as fun as that might be), however, you must know how to fight and defend yourself. You do not have to become the next Jean-Claude Van Damme or Bruce Lee, but you must know enough to protect those you love. A man who cannot physically defend his family is not a man. That comment may rub some of you the wrong way, but I don’t care (see #3 and #5).

If your wife or daughter were in danger, could you live with yourself if you failed to defend them? Even if you attempted to defend them, could you? If you answered “No” then you need to man up and start training.

Women desire a man who is confident and not afraid to kick the crap out of someone if needed. They want a man who will defend them and treat them with respect. The ultimate man will fight for his wife and family when needed, yet treat his wife with the chivalrous respect she deserves… rewards will come!

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Piss People Off

“The secret to success is to offend the greatest number of people.” – George Bernard Shaw

Strong and confident men have a profound impact on people. They project confidence through their appearance, the way they speak their mind, and through bold innovations. Confident people propel the world forward. These people are also not afraid to piss people off. These men are assertive, candid, and they take risks.

High performing men are not afraid to break the rules… after all, rules are put into place so we can work around them. By possessing an unlimited confidence and not caring about pleasing other people, these men live for their own success. They do not allow or wait for other people to determine their success – if that means pissing people off on their way up, then so be it.

Featured photo credit: IMDB via imdb.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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