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The true gentleman

People are creatures of comfort.

Society has become much more comfortable in the last decade.  Now, every day is casual Friday. 

Consider for a moment, how communication has become less formal. The examples are numerous:

  • Written and verbal language is now much less structured

  • Spelling isn’t as important (auto-correct and smart search)

  • Complete sentences–a thing of the past

  • Letters and emails have been replaced by texting and Tweeting

Watch my quick video on words that sell. Today, formalities are viewed as mostly superfluous. Few people address others as “Mr.” or “Ms” anymore. Many of us don’t answer the phone or respond to email.  RSVP deadlines are a joke. An entire generation of people has stopped saying “you’re welcome.” Instead, they respond to “thank you” by saying things like “no problem” and “yep.” The suit-and-tie, once a necessity in every businessman’s wardrobe, is not a feature of the ”business casual” lifestyle. And there's no such thing as "too casual." People wear blue jeans to funerals and some guys wear those jeans well below their hips. Women wear sandals to work and pajamas in hotel breakfast bars. It's okay; times change.

The following bit of prose addresses a concept that should never change–the definition of a true gentleman.

Hopefully, this reminds you of men that you know.  I’ve lightly reformatted the text, originally composed by John Walter Wayland in 1899, to make it a bit more reader friendly.

The True Gentleman

The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies…

Who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity…

Who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another…

Who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements…

Who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy…

Whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own…

And who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe.

Good etiquette is habit forming

Aristotle said, “You are what you repeatedly do.” This from a guy so casual, he only ever dressed in a robe.

Still, it’s never too late to create good habits such as being on time, using good grammar, displaying strong communication skills, being organized and dressing nicer.

For ideas and inspiration, watch this presentation I did for a group of leaders in Wesley Chapel, Florida.

Thanks for keeping the bar high

I’m lucky.  I meet the coolest people when I’m on the speaking circuit.

My customers and clients are true ladies and gentlemen who are into self-improvement and professional development.

They’re always trying to improve themselves and help others.

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