Horton Heard a Who, Can You Hear Me?

Horton Heard a Who, Can You Hear Me?


horton-hears-a-who_1I had the honor of participating in a webinar last night with veteran Executive Coach, Jeff Patnaude, and a group of his friends/clients. It was part of a series of topics discussing the attributes of transformational leaders and mentors.

I listened as each brilliant guest shared thoughts and life experiences varying from large corporate environments to military, politics and religion. Each was insightful, interesting and included visions I may have never considered myself.

I felt like a speck of dust amongst giants. I didn’t have any interesting stories, nor any exotic life experiences to share, my thoughts felt too simple. I felt like a Who from Who-ville, singing with simplicity because I know what is true for me.

After a brief overview of previous sessions on “Tell the Truth” and an interesting discussion on ” No Attachment to Outcome”, we discussed “Do Justice” and what it meant to each of us.

In my elementariness, it doesn’t make any difference whether we’re applying the definitions to our personal or business lives.

We must tell the truth.
Telling the truth is true freedom. Gone are the shackles of remorse and guilt.

No attachment to outcome.
This doesn’t mean you’re not invested in the outcome, it means you realize things may change. Every day is a journey and we need to be flexible in our approach. The reality is, people and circumstances don’t always reveal the truth, so the right path for a company or a person may not be immediately clear. As new information becomes available, the outcome you chose may change. I’ve learned this lesson hard and fast in the past year.

Do Justice.
Justice is defined as the quality of being just or fair. In other words, doing the “right” thing, but do we know what that is in every situation? No, because we don’t always have all the information. When we don’t have an attachment to outcome we’re able to research and listen from a neutral place. If we’re living truthful lives, there are no shackles of pain and guilt to warp our views. Therefore we’re able to make decisions based on what’s best rather than having the truth bounce off our protective shields.

In order to be just we must be truthful and we must give up attachment to outcome, we need to do the right thing regardless of expected outcome.

In my tiny speck of a world the answers are easy, just do your best with the information you have, and if necessary adjust the path you’re on until it feels right.

Does anybody hear me?



  1. I think truth is essential in all facets of life. I’m surprised more people don’t see the benefits. You get to be just you, with no unreachable expectations, no juggling what you told to whom, and you can strive to be your very best with no limits, guilt or fear.

    Being honest about your limitations and mistakes engenders respect from people of worth. Being honest about your needs and your aspirations encourages communication and opens possibilities. Dishonesty is manipulation, and there is no growth in a false environment for anyone.

    When people are dishonest, it’s because they want to control the outcome of the situation. It doesn’t work well, because there are more factors than an individual can see. When you let go of the outcome and are just you, just true, you let go of the idea that you must control the situation. Why not? People and events aren’t ours to control anyway. Sure, you may lose a client or a deal. But when you are honest, the business you build is based on strong relationships of trust…you can afford some losses, and the lessons that come with them. It only helps you grow and get better.

    The happiest workplaces I’ve seen have been honest ones. They were truly successful, and endured through tough times. The workplaces full of deceit and unhappiness have struggled or failed. Those experiences affected me deeply. I’ve been asked to lie, lied, and been lied to, and I won’t go there again. It takes too much work, and it doesn’t make anyone successful. It may have temporary wins, but the long-term outlook is dismal

    What have I lost by being honest? Nothing essential to my financial, emotional, or physical well-being. I lost a stressful job with a boss who was desperately unhappy, and have a job I love with a boss I trust. I’ve lost relationships with a few people who were inflexible or deceitful. Most of my relationships are stronger and better than ever. I’ve lost most of my guilt, and that frantic feeling of trying to remember what I told someone last time. Instead, I say I’m sorry more often, and offer to look for the answers I don’t know. Mostly I’ve lost that mask I used to wear, and I’ve found myself again.

    When I’m true, and I live in such a way as to minimize my regrets, I’m happier, more productive, and my relationships at work and at home are stronger.

    Who doesn’t want that?

  2. Great stuff. I hear ya!

  3. Re: MKK’s response – Hallelujah and Amen to that! You just said what I think and feel deeply. I am determined to never compromise myself – my integrity – in another business relationship again. The older I get the more I know that I’m no better than what I do or say. I can either talk about integrity and honesty or I can live it – and it feels so much better when I live it.

  4. Hear, Hear!! MKK’s response is dead-on, too. Thanks for the encouragement to be ‘real’ and to keep it real!

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