This Thursday is Halloween, a Holiday that is not necessarily celebrated by all. However, this Thursday there will be lots of little kids skipping around our neighborhoods ringing doorbells to get their fair share of treats. What’s most fun about this Holiday is seeing all the little kids of how and who they dressed up as. They are ultimately dressing as their alter ego, someone they admire, someone that they would like to be like. When we were young, our imaginations ran wild. We talked about what and who we wanted to be when we grow up. Well, here we are all grown up.
With this in mind we all possess certain types of behaviors or personalities. Some of us are more assertive, some of us are more passive. In business, there may be certain times that we may have to alter our behavior to get more of what we want. If we are more passive, we may have to up our assertiveness when confronting a challenge within our business. If we are more assertive or aggressive, we may need to temper down a bit to properly communicate with a more reserved type of personality or situation.
There’s a great book I just completed called ‘The Alter Ego Effect’ by Todd Herman. It asks the question, “What is your phone booth?” What exactly does that question mean? Let’s take an example; if you are let’s say a more reserved type person that would rather avoid confrontation and you have to address a challenging employee or situation. You may not necessarily want to go there based on your behavior. In this case, you are now the Clark Kent who needs to take off his glasses, jump into a phone booth, rip open his shirt and transform into your Superman alter ego to handle this type of situation.
Years back in 2000 as a financial advisor I had to deal with the dot.com bubble meltdown. Along with 9/11, this became a very challenging and stressful time for me in my profession. I found a little book called Rhinoceros Success. It described a Rhino as a 7,000-pound, two-inch thick-skinned powerful animal. An animal that possesses very sharp eyes that misses nothing, a radar type hearing that detects the slightest vibration. A sense of smell that can pick up an opportunity from miles away. When a Rhinoceros has a goal or opportunity in its sight, it focuses on that goal and charges it down massively. Because a Rhinoceros is so powerful and focused, absolutely nothing or no one will get in its way. To stop a Rhinoceros, you would actually need an army to take it down.
This Rhinoceros became a persona for me to deal with the then-current adversity. I became so strong in dealing with the adversity that an advisor shared how it seemed that nothing really took me off my game. I simply shared that if it’s out of my control, I don’t let it bother me. He then nicknamed me ‘The Iceman.’ Since that day, The Iceman had become my alter ego. It keeps me calm in times of adversity.
If you have any behavior challenges whatsoever, if you struggle in any areas of where you want to improve, I encourage and challenge you to look at this and take on an alter ego. Pick up the book, give it a read and see how you may be able to apply some of what you learn.
So, this Thursday, while you’re having fun watching all the little alter egos run around your neighborhood. Think back to when your own imagination ran wild. Discover what alter ego you would like to team up with to become in certain times to address certain situations. Have fun and create your own Superman or Superwoman you!