Some people have a great talent for bragging on what they’ve accomplished and on others. I don’t mean that to be pejorative, I mean it sincerely. This is a talent. At its highest level, bragging is an art.
I’m thinking of those leaders who, each time you see them, have a positive story to tell about progress – whether it’s their own, someone on their team or an organization they represent.
Many of us have an aversion to bragging. My best guess is that service-minded people — of which there are many in the nonprofit world — don’t feel comfortable talking about themselves or their organizations in a way that doesn’t feel humble.
But here’s the thing: storytelling is an essential talent that contributes to the success of any organization. Brags are stories of success that attract people to causes, energize them and paint the picture of momentum towards success. They are the stories that help others understand what is possible and how the success was achieved. All of this is information that it is critical to share with others and to hear from others.
At the end of the day, the people we serve deserve our best and there is no room for ego or shyness to stand in the way. When we don’t share our successes or our breakthroughs, we aren’t able to garner resources or open the door for other people to share their stories. We miss out on important learning.
It may be uncomfortable, but we should all learn never to leave the office for a networking event, fundraiser or a big meeting without a brag in our pocket, ready to spread the good news about what we can achieve together.
I’d love to hear from you, especially if you want to practice some bragging on the things you have done and are doing to improve health in Louisiana.
– Michael Tipton
BCBSLA Foundation President and Head of Community Relations