Reality, what a concept!!

August 4, 2014

I recently wrote a draft for this month’s email. When I showed it to several of my co-workers, they said it was far from reality. I thanked them, deleted the draft, and brought out a new blank sheet.

We often see our world differently than what it really is. In my mind, I feel 35, think I am 195 lbs., and look good in a Hugo Boss suit. That is all far from the truth, but having no mirrors in my house definitely helps my mind play those games!

So how do we distinguish reality from what we wish the world to look like? Here are some ideas:

1) Learn while you are coaching or mentoring. I always enjoy playing golf with my son. He often asks me to comment on his swing. While making those comments, I actually start asking myself “Am I taking the club high?” and “how is my balance?” Am I doing those things that I think he should be doing? This can be easily applied to our everyday business world.

2) Ask others if you are what you perceive yourself to be. In the past I have taken a 360 and it was an eye opener. It is a confidential survey of your peers and measures the difference of how you see yourself verses how they see you. Being one who is far from perfect, there were several areas that I have tried to improve. With this email, I recognize I need to go back to the survey results again and try a little harder to work on those areas.

3) Seek validation and measurement wherever possible. In my last newsletter, I mentioned the independent, third-party customer survey we recently conducted. We knew there were a number of areas where we were doing well, and the survey confirmed most of those. However, there were some areas that we thought were fine but actually needed to be improved. When outside opinions matter, perception is reality.

4) Ask others for help in finding reality. A coach, a close friend or a spouse will always be the best persons to help you. Taking criticism is hard, I know because I don’t take it well, but we must all look to be better individuals for our families, our co-workers, our friends and ourselves.

Any anonymous or named emails that will help me get closer to the reality of my world will be greatly appreciated! Let me know your thoughts at

All the Best,



Joe Clayton


Sea-Land Chemical Company