It’s an unfortunate fact that I have a bit of a temper. People who don’t know me well often say how “nice” I am and that’s true a lot of the time. But for those that know me (and that includes longtime clients) my temper isn’t a surprise. An old boss used to call her temper ‘passion,’ and I suppose there is some truth to that, but overall I think it’s just an example of not being able to control your frustration. And in this business you can get frustrated a lot. One of our oldest clients (whom I LOVE!) has said at least 3 times in our relationship, “Val, don’t say something you’re going to regret.” We’ve been together for years, so I guess I haven’t—but just by the skin of my teeth.
I do have a team of LEVEL-HEADED VPs who always control their temper, and these days I am more concerned with actually running the business (I provide strategic counsel and creative concepts regularly) so my “passionate” personality doesn’t affect things as much. But here’s what I’ve learned about “losing it.” Say you’re sorry, mean you’re sorry and don’t do it again (if you can help it). Sorry doesn’t mean much if the behavior doesn’t change. And pride will KILL you in business. It’s totally fine to stand by your convictions, but not because of pride. As a communications agency it’s critical that we “protect” our client’s reputations, so we must make “strong” recommendations, especially if there is a crisis looming. But there’s a fine line between pride and being right. So, don’t be afraid to say you’re sorry, and mean it when you do!