I am a die-hard Apple dork and I don’t much care for anything made by Microsoft. But I have to give Bill Gates credit for at least one thing: he doesn’t take himself too seriously. If ever there was a dude who could be expected to take himself seriously, it would be Bill Gates. I mean, the guy is as smart as a whip, changed the face of computing on the planet Earth, and is a gajillionaire to boot. (By the way, whoever decided that whips are smart?)
This video from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) demonstrates Gates fun side, which is often overshadowed by his über-wealthy techno-nerd side.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HA4lSUhlbw
People who take themselves too seriously are everywhere; it’s almost as if it’s the new national pastime. They’re easy to recognize, too. They’re the ones with the bluetooth phone surgically attached to their ear. The ones behind you in line huffing and puffing as if the fate of the world depends on their to-do list that is being held hostage by the delay. The ones who desperately try to conceal any imperfections and deflect any perceptions of weakness in order to portray a rock-solid, I’ve-got-it-all-figured-out façade. (Which, by the way, usually comes across about as “rock-solid” as a retaining wall built with alphabet blocks.)
It’s important to take our work seriously, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun doing it. I agree with Garr Reynolds, author of Presentation Zen, who said,
Take your message, your job, and your cause very seriously, but do not take yourself so seriously. I respect a leader tremendously who can laugh at himself (or herself).”
If somebody like Bill Gates can have a sense of humor about himself, why do I see so many self-absorbed, overly serious, stressed-out people in airports and restaurants acting like they are the most important people this side of Saturn?
Maybe Bill knows something these people don’t.