Our Unmistakable Tale


For, while the tale of how we suffer, and how we are delighted, and how we may triumph is never new, it always must be heard.

— From “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin

We all have our own story to tell — our unmistakable tale. Sometimes we might think we are keeping it hidden, but we are kidding ourselves.

Trying to conform to the expectations others have for us is a persistent threat that we face every day. However, if we are working outside our natural strengths, we’re going to be half-baked at best.

I know that, at least for me, I’ve needed to stay in touch with my true story. I know that I am not good at trying to be like anyone else and can only do it my natural way.

Whatever it is that makes you distinctive and special — being cool or earnest or connected or wise or funny or heartfelt or brilliant — I encourage each of you to own it and stay true to that brand, because you’re really not fooling anybody if you try anything else.

Thanks for sharing time with me; as always, I welcome your feedback. Please feel free to pass this message along to others who may find value.

If you would like to read previous chapters in this series, please visit: Jeff Black’s Blog.

Of course, please think of me if you (or companies you know) are adding strategic new talent to your leadership, either permanent or interim.