.by Anura Guruge
My personal creed,
the overarching principle of my life
— since 1985.
I heard the above cited saying delivered by an after dinner speaker at a regional sales meeting in Dallas, Texas in 1985.
I had just walked into the hotel banquet hall having stepped out to arrange something, in my then unofficial capacity as ‘master of all things entertainment‘ (which was an adjunct to my official job of ‘Marketing Director‘). I still remember, I was dressed in a black tux (which I was wont to don) and had my habitual flute of champagne in my right hand. I slowly closed the double doors and stood up against them. This guy, and I wish I had made a note of his name, was speaking. This was a ‘regional’, so it would not have been anybody mega famous. Those we hired for our totally insane, out-of-control, money-no-object, National Sales meetings.
That credibility statement hit me like a ton of bricks.
So much so that I had to stagger up to a chair, at the back, sit down, and run that whole thing over and over again in my head. I was 32 years old. Life was good. I was an unashamed hedonist. All I cared about was making money, being an ‘expert’ (and yes, I had published my 1st book and was doing lots of seminars) and having fun. No kids, no ‘legal’ wife, company provided (all paid) black Camaro, ‘no questions ever asked‘ expense account and an outrageous compensation plan. And here was this guy telling me that credibility is more important than money. I sat and thought. He was still talking away. I was just focused on the credibility thing. I mulled this over. Realized that this was good stuff. It, at once, became my guiding light. My moral compass. I have never abandoned it.
It has served me well. Wealth has come and gone. And thanks to my creed, I made sure that it never bothered me. It was c’est la vie. 28 years later, my health is not what it was. And I know I have lost something.
Though I have a published paper trail going back to 1976 I know that I can die knowing that I clung on, desperately, to my credibility. My two older kids, especially my son, know about me and my credibility. They have taken note. I know that they will follow in my footsteps. Hopefully the other two will also do so.