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Let Bartlet be Bartlet

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By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

In my personal life it has been pointed out that my lack of emotion around different political issues in this election cycle is because I am a journalist by trade.  When I say ‘journalist’ I will point out that I was trained in a time when equal say was important, truly balanced reporting was required, and – as is my passion as a coach – holding people accountable so that informed decisions could be made was the point.

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/geralt-9301/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1588167">Gerd Altmann</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1588167">Pixabay</a>

I do not write this post to promote one candidate over another – or to debate the definition of journalism – but to raise the question:  what would you do differently if the rest of the world – if you – Let You Be You? Think about all the ways that you are being held accountable for what you say and what you do.  Your social media participation is also a witness to any inconsistencies that may show up in what you believe, say, think, or do.  Are you holding back a list of your skills or accomplishments so that others can see you in a certain light?

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One thing that has struck me about the Republican side of the United States presidential race is the question of identity and what has to be changed by the candidates in order to appeal to the different factions of their audience.  I would love to have seen what would have happened if Mitt Romney were allowed to run based on what he truly believes and has accomplished.  How would this election season be different if we Let Romney be Romney?  This is the same thing that I want for you as your coach:  Let You be You.  What does that mean?  Let me first give you context:

The West Wing

Image by <a href="https://pixabay.com/users/12019-12019/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1623005">David Mark</a> from <a href="https://pixabay.com/?utm_source=link-attribution&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=image&utm_content=1623005">Pixabay</a>

My favorite television program of all time is the West Wing.  Part of the cast was reunited this week for a television spot and it just reinforced for me the memory of why I loved that show:  it was a clever, well written take on experiences that not only raised the level of debate but the level of my vocabulary.

In one episode, to get the fire back in the staff as well as President, Josiah Bartlet, the Chief of Staff basically wrote him a note that said Let Bartlet be Bartlet.  This meant her was to unleash himself and fight for what he believed in, he was to pursue even the difficult issues so that as an administration they could raise the level of debate.

The idea of Let Bartlet be Bartlet was to not play it safe even if they lost some battles.  Let Bartlet be Bartlet would raise the President’s game – and the administration morale – by going hard after what they felt was the right thing to do.

Let You Be You

As you consider what you could learn from that television episode and this political season, I wonder what would it do for your own morale and sense of accomplishment if you Let You be You and:

  • Unleash yourself
  • Raise the level of debate in your life
  • Don’t always play it safe
  • Realize you may lose some battles but you should still go at it hard

A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to sea and do new things. ~ John Augustus Shedd

I see each one of us as a vessel of change, and as a vessel “ships in the harbor are safe…but that’s not what ships are made for.”  What do you believe you’re made for?  In what areas of your life do you feel you’ve been playing it safe?  What will you do now to Let You be You?  I believe if you Let You be You, you will live your life with passion and purpose.

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