Bouquets And Brickbats


Life has its ways of throwing the curveball when we least expect it! Sometimes it brings us bouquets and at others, brickbats! It may not mean a thing to the ordinary person. For leaders and leadership aspirants, this shift points to possible trouble.

Imagine your story, and photograph appearing on the first page of a noted newspaper. How many doors do you see open to take advantage of this opportunity and develop your sphere of influence? Do you identify the power of business prosperity? Do you pay attention to yourself as if granted an elevation beyond most others’ approach? Sure you do! Is it an important feather in your cap or not? This example relates to a bouquet.

Let us now examine the opposite front. There is a well-respected author, advisor, coach, consultant, or a leader with many followers. People like to listen to him and read what he writes. Majority follows his suggestions for success in life. He enjoys an unblemished reputation until the day he ends up saying, writing, or even hinting towards something below his dignity. The same words spread far-and-wide by the viral force of Social Media, become public knowledge. How do you justify his attitude or where may he disappear?

In the modern-day dynamic society where the influence of this platform is predominant, anyone anywhere can detect a fault with your opinions, ideas, and advice. His first responsibility as a Leader is to defeat the negative before receiving any kudos. Is it always tempting to collect bouquets? Then why not show courage in taking the brickbats with equal magnanimity?

The reason I touched upon this subject is born out of my encounters over the years. Here is one of the great ones:

I had to pull up an arrogant public speaker that claims to be: “One of the World’s Top Success Coaches.” In my endeavor to identify logical explanations to the foregoing individual’s unexpected outburst, I singled out his success over the years as the chief culprit. He enjoyed speaking in front of crowds. These were his easy-to-manipulate victims that spent thousands of dollars to go to the 2-3 day workshops and lectures. He carried an assumptive belief he was the Messiah for these ‘sheep’ condemned to the slaughterhouse of his big, fat bank account.

The influence of wealth had reached far too deep into his head not to make any scratch on his spiritual identity. He thought nobody could dare call his bluff. He never imagined the day when he might see himself on the mat facing someone courageous enough to shake him up. That, someone, turned out to be me. I was one of the attendees, courtesy of a friend, in a gathering of +/-800. This success coach had his advertising team fill up large halls by extending an open invitation to all the earlier patrons. No matter whether you had paid for a seminar three months or three years ago, whenever he came to your town, he will send you two complimentary passes. Now, God Almighty is perhaps the only outsider that knows how many in this audience were genuine, paying clients since this was his 6th or 7th session of the year in the same place.

Back to the subject of our analysis, careless talk on this individual’s part did not sit well with my group. He had just passed a scathing remark pointing at the Province we had come from. (We were ten to a table.) I took the lead in demanding his attention to the sentence he had just spoken as a passing thought. I advised him to practice prudence in language, no matter where. At first, he denied responding to my concern. However, my emphasis on an unconditional apology forced him to get off the stage. He took a walk to our table and expressed regret to each one of us. Then, he valiantly substantiated his remorse by taking me to the stage. Once there, he openly accepted his guilt for causing us hurt. It was more than embarrassing for him, no doubt. Yet, he gained enormously in prestige for showing a deep sense of maturity. Obviously, I was the first one to applaud this magnanimous action.

Readers can assume whatever they choose but the bottom line proves that his modesty enabled him to accept the brickbats without a fuss. It helped him earn ever more reverence than if he had refused to budge.

The foregoing incident teaches us to face up to our shortcomings in an intelligent way. We are mere individuals and making mistakes is our second nature. To admit them adds to both our trustworthiness and prestige while denial contributes to imminent oblivion.

The opportunity is here and now for you to decide whether you are willing to accept brickbats with as great an enthusiasm as accepting bouquets. If not, mend your attitude and watch the positive shift in your altitude!

To Your Continued Success, One Step At A Time…


Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathur
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!

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  1. Bharat: Excellent point. Yes we all get both bouquets and brickbats. What I call dining on chicken one day, and feathers the next. Certainly we all enjoy those good days and dread the bad ones. But, as you note, how a leader handles those bad days is the true test of a leader. Anyone can look good when everything is coming up roses. Being able and willing to admit one’s failures and make them right where necessary is the mark of leadership.

    Humility is one of the hallmarks of great leadership.