To See Or Be Seen ?

The other day I greeted a friend “It’s good to see you”. He quipped, “It’s good to be seen.”

In our world visibility of person and product is a key to success. Corporations spend millions on advertising. Countless have Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. It seems that the whole world is one big “Show and tell”.

But the search for visibility has a down side as well. Our maneuvering to front and center stage can leave us with a deep sense of emptiness that comes from endless self promotion.

Wanting To Be Seen – The Downside

Marketing ourselves can be counterproductive when:

  1. Self-promotion turns people off especially when they view it as bragging. When does our marketing border on narcissism characterized by impression management?
  1. Our personality is more introverted. Do we prefer to be private about our accomplishments and ourselves?
  1. It detracts from a life of service. When does speaking about “me” eclipse hearing and attuning to “you”?
  1. The desire for visibility can come from a place of lack. How do we overcome the tendency to see ourselves as “not enough” or “not good enough”?
  1. The drive to compete can nullify the quest for collaboration. When does the “winner take all” attitude compromise teamwork?
  1. In some cultures the drive to be visible evokes “the tall blade of grass being cut down” response. How do you find a way to make your brand known in a culture where it is viewed negatively as “tooting one’s horn”?

Seeing From The Heart 

The practice of seeing from the heart is a world apart from a marketing mentality. It is:

  1. Based on a “servant spirit” where the focus is not on what others can do for us but what we can do for them.
  1. Generated from the soul that is other-oriented.
  1. Lived on the belief that my “self” is not lacking and needing to be supplemented with the praise and recognition of others.
  1. Motivated by the words of the Bhagavad-gita, “do your duty to god without your eyes on the fruit of your action”.
  1. Found on the margins of life with the neediest of people.
  1. The product of authenticity. This means “a pure heart” on our part as well as openness to all who cross our path (Tough to do with difficult people).
  1. The drive of an employee to  know and honor the needs of the customer.

Serving others from the heart and discussing one’s achievements does not have to be mutually exclusive. But walking this tightrope is difficult.

Usually in these blog postings I suggest some “how to” strategies but this time I am resisting that urge.

Your Practice

How do you find balance between marketing yourself and serving others from the heart?


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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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3 Responses to To See Or Be Seen ?

  1. This is excellent advice, and just what I needed to hear today. Thank you.

  2. Pingback: To See Or Be Seen ? | People Discovery

  3. Pingback: To See Or Be Seen ? | Inspirational Leadership Management and Engagement |

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