No Fears, No Filters. My 33 Year Journey from Liability to Asset

I am a jump out of the airplane and see if the parachute opens type of guy. There is no pepper I won't chomp into or salsa I won't slurp to see how hot it is. If something is constructed or executed poorly, whether a building, a dish of food, or a process, I'm going to weigh in with my strong opinion; to whomever I'm sitting next to.


The same goes true for something truly outstanding or memorable; again across the broad spectrum of things, actions, and processes. I'm going to say exactly what's on my mind. I'm outspoken regarding people as well; good or bad; family, friend or co-worker. Do something great or mediocre, and you'll hear from me; although hopefully in public for the former and in private for the latter.


No fears, and no filters. It's the way I am. And that goes for decisions as well, not just actions and opinions. I got some sage advice my first week working out of college "Don't be scared to make a decision"; clarifying I'd make 10 decisions a day in my new management role, and if I got 7 right, I'd be hitting a home run. So, I've done just that. I've made decisions; on a daily basis. And I've used my no fear/no filters mindset many a times to make tough or quick calls.

In the beginning, however, it hurt me as much as it helps me today. It's truly been a 33 year journey from liability to asset. So what's different then and now? Is it the different industries I've been in? Is it how the general workforce environment in the U.S. has changed? Is it being a mid-level manager early in my career, but a CEO, President, COO or EVP the last 15? I say "none of the above". I think it's actually a symbiotic combination of style and experience.


To explain this further, when I first "put it out there", it had no context. People weren't expecting it, and I wasn't basing my opinions, actions, and decisions on any experience. At a generic level, you can say what happened was I gained wisdom with age, but I am suggesting a different paradigm that I took more risks; and over time, these risks paid off. I was able to take on executive jobs earlier in life than most people because of the triple-whammy, snowballing effect of more experience, proven leadership, and tell-it-like-it-is style. 


So I say, take risks. Make decisions. Be passionate. Be compassionate and straight-forward at the same time when you communicate. And above all else, be consistent. You will be respected and get more accomplished if you do any of these things, but even shortcomings can be overcome if you are consistent. It's truly the key. Not everyone is an unabashed optimist. No fear and no filters isn't for everyone. 


So what's my advise? I say it's to be consistent. Do this well, and then…. well anything; the world's now your oyster. Who knows, maybe some hot peppers and skydiving?



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