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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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Dr. Jamie Schwandt

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The Gentle Art of Saying No

The Gentle Art of Saying No

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

  1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
  2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
  3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
  4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
  5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
  6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
  7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
  8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
  9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
  10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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