Fans or friends

A person that wants other people to admire them for what they have accomplished, is looking for fans. They don’t want friends who respect them. They want fans to praise them. A great leader always pushes fans away and redirects praise to someone else. This is a person that earns the trust and friendship of people around them.

I had this guy I knew once who wanted people to admire him and want to be him. He would have a gathering or some social event at his house and he would park his expensive cars outside so that the guests would have to walk by them to get to the front door. Basically, he was a narcissist. He just couldn’t handle people believing they were on the same level as him so he always had to puff it up. He wanted admirers not friends.

Friends are the ones that want to see you succeed and fans are the ones that secretly want you to fail. Ronald Reagan was a person that wanted friends. When something good was happening he always gave the praise to other people. Never to himself. That is why he was so beloved by the American people. I have a friend who was the chief pilot for Coca-Cola for many years, and on occasions would fly presidents from time to time. He flew Ford, Carter and Reagan and Bush. I was at his house the other day and he had a picture of himself and Reagan on the plane. He said Reagan was so kind and would always give his appreciation to others and would even send handwritten notes of thank you. He said the most arrogant and ungrateful person he ever flew was one of the other three presidents (I will not name) but will let you guess. He said the public perception of that president was completely wrong.

Bear Bryant (head coach for Alabama) was often interviewed after a big win. He would never talk about how great his team was, instead he always talked about how great and well coached the other team was. He never internalized the praise even though he won six national championships.

So, when praise may be headed your way so for something you’ve accomplished, remember this little blog, and don’t talk about yourself and how great you are. Talk about those around you and give them the praise. That is how you win friends who love you, not fans that will disappear.  KT

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