Saturday, September 5, 2009

Honor Your Rank

Certificates of Achievement should mean something. They should indicate a level of understanding, expertise and performance that translates into a minimum standard of behavior… without exception!

I observed an advanced class of young karate students one day. Each student had a rank of brown or black belt. I watched this group workout with a feeling of amazement and embarrassment... as most of the students sloppily executed their routines. Despite having reached two of the highest levels in their craft, many of them could not throw a decent punch or kick… I blame the teacher for advancing students just to prevent them from quitting. I blame the parents for not holding the teacher accountable to actually teach their kids. And, I blame the ‘real’ advanced students for not questioning the fraud.

If you look closely, you can see similar situations in all walks of life:

  • Sales professionals who don’t listen
  • Teachers who don’t care
  • Doctors who aren’t compassionate
  • Distinguished Toastmasters who say, “ah & um”
  • Customer service reps who aren’t nice
  • High school graduates who cannot read
  • College graduates who have no marketable skills
  • Parents who are unable to raise their children
  • Politicians who abuse our trust
  • Adults who act immature

How do you honor your rank?

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