Chris Brady‘s [best-selling author of Launching a Leadership Revolution and Rascal] recent release through the Team system, “Depth or Psychiatry” struck a chord with me. He has a statement of “Fakers vs Posers”. The claim is one of “Fakers” will present a false self and make claims that they have achieved or gained something that they have not, while “Posers” are achievers in process, and have the look and mind-set to attain their goals. This was brought to life on Saturday when I got a chance to take my son to an old fashion auction. The items included garage stuff, farm equipment, and whole bunch of firearms. Talk about a “man-sale”. Tons of great stuff available, but also, tons of people watching. Everyone registers for a bidding number and talks the “big talk”- what everything is worth and how many items they will leave with. As consistently as ever, people act like they know something about something, but when the bidding starts, the “faker” shows the rest of the world he is missing the courage of his previous convictions. His or her number never comes up in the bidding war.
Chris puts a stark difference between the words of faker and poser, and more important, the titles given to people. As God would have it, Brady’s talk also aligns with the new release of Oliver DeMille‘s talk “The Culture of Freedom and How to Spread It!” [LIFE 62]. Oliver talks of 5 traits required to turn a nation toward freedom. One of these traits is “sensus plenior” which means multiple senses. This is the characteristic of looking at questions, objects, situations, and written words with multiple meanings not just one. With my want to define both “poser” and “faker” only as the same, Chris raised my eyebrow to something significant different.
Let’s dive into these two titles and see where it leads us.
I first wanted to see how the world defines them. Wikipedia defines “faker” as a charlatan, someone who fakes, and/or a person who makes deceitful pretenses. This is a tough title to say the least, but we all seem to know a “faker” when we are around one. John Eldridge, author of Wild at Heart, gives some insight by stating that every man’s deepest fear is to be exposed, to be found out, or to be discovered as an impostor and not really a man. This brings back the meaning to the old 80’s song line by Billy Joel, “When that old stranger comes along” . Some have a mask/false self that allows them to fit in with the “norm”, and as Chris Brady declares in Rascal, the “committee of They” determines the norm. The problem is that no one knows who “they” are. Most don’t want to feel like they are outside of the crowd. But as I researched the data, it became abundantly clear that the one that is faking knows for sure that they are playing a false game. The “faker” appears to be self-imposed. John Owen claims this mind-set is like a strong castle with a treacherous party residing inside (ready to betray at the first opportunity possible). The castle cannot be kept safe from the outside enemy because the real problem is within. If we are “fake” to our self, we will be eaten from within. The “faker” knows it and labels themselves as what they have become. Dale Carnegie states “when dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity”.
In contrast, Wikipedia defines “poser” as one governed not by the clothes, music, or make-up you wear, but rather by the state of mind and the conformity to their own beliefs. This is an individual whom is original and self-guided, but gets labeled by others because they cannot see the individual’s vision. Orrin Woodward once said that a man with a clear vision of his goals looks like a greyhound running after the rabbit around the track. The only problem is that the spectators cannot see the rabbit. The “poser” sees the world as it will be, but keeps their feet in reality, in order to get traction to move forward. Sounds like we need more “posers” and less “fakers”.
Let’s do our part to turn the table toward “posers”. Posing requires a vision, the clear image of an expected tomorrow. As Lou Holtz proclaims, “every victory is won before the game is played” It is about setting the expectation and adding courage. Vince Poscente in the ant and the Elephant, puts it this way, “Make a commitment to positive dominant thoughts. Shift beliefs, attitudes, and truths so they are aligned with your vision. Envision having the goal rather than merely wanting the goal”. Now take that commitment and focus on forward. This is all mixed with a powerful dose of imagination.
Now, each step you take is like practice for the future and will be like “a drop in the bucket”. With each drop, the bucket gets closer to full which is the fulfillment of the vision. Every great athlete or team makes their practices feel, look, and sound like the real thing. “The more you sweat in practice, the less in bleed on the field” Marcus Lattrel. Take a lesson from my son, Sam. No matter the object, he can make his finger, his hand, a piece of wood, a stone, or any toy into a “real” race car. Is he faking it or just planning for the future through what Einstein called, “the preview of life’s coming attraction”? In my mind, Sam is a “poser” and you may need his level of imagination to see the truth.
Let’s end this with a great example from Gus Lee’s book, Courage. –Major H. Norman Schwarzkopf was teaching a class at West Point during the author’s time as a cadet. One day, the Major decided, “I will teach you the meaning of leadership and courage”. The author knew that Major Schwarzkopf was a great man, and he was the academy’s most highly decorated combat veteran of the new controversial war in Vietnam. He said ” Imagine that you and the troops for which you are responsible are on the international border. The enemy can cross it and strike at you without impunity. But you can’t cross the border and that order comes from the commander-in-chief. Now every night, the enemy crosses the border to kill and wound your men, who are Vietnamese Airborne volunteers in your care. And every night, you chase the enemy, but they escape at the border, where you stop, as you are ordered. Here’s the question: when the enemy hits you again tonight, do you pursue them over the line? Or do you follow orders and halt at the border? The Major asked for questions. Hands went up. “If we cross it, will it start a new war?” No. “If we cross the border, can we destroy the enemy?” Yes. “If we cross it and get caught, are we in big trouble?” Absolutely. Your president will be very displeased. With you. Personally. Gentlemen, [should you] STOP or GO? The author and many others stated to “STOP” with the belief that one should ever disobey orders of the president. A few wrote “GO” and the major smiled. He said that there are two kinds of people in the world: leaders and careerists. Leaders have character. They act for what is right and would die for their men. Careerists are self-centered, and self-absorbed. They act out of selfishness and sacrifice their men for a promotion. They save their skin instead of others’. Careerists can’t lead. Major finished by saying that leaders cross the border. Destroy the enemy to protect your men. Then they take the personal consequences to their career, knowing that they violated an order but acted for what is right. They feel pride in getting court-martialed and being reduced to private—
You choose– Faker or Poser. Or as Major Schwarzkopf says, Careerist or Leader.
“Be such a man, and live such a life, that if every
man was such as you, and every life a life
like yours, this earth would be God’s paradise”
God bless, Aron
Steel the Mind and Tender the Heart.