In the past, it appeared noble, humble and professional not to fight back when attacked. Today, for achievers, it sometimes makes sense to fight back. One of the fights that noble men avoided in the past was when a lie was told against them or there was misinformation about their character, behaviour or actions.
What they did when they came across that was to keep quiet to let ‘things sort themselves out.’! But in today’s world, things are changing fast, including how we manage information about ourselves. If wrong information goes around about you, try the little you can to correct the rumour if you can.
Assume someone living in the village or some location in town. Something goes missing, for example a cow or car. Word goes round that the person in question, say Tsoka, is responsible for the loss. The allegation is that Tsoka stole the cow in the village or car in town. If Tsoka does nothing to correct this message, very soon, many will start to believe the story as true. Every time people hear something and they do not get to hear other views to the contrary, they gradually believe what they hear, read or learn.
Actually, in the extreme case, the point we are making here is supported by the well-known quotation that “A lie told many times enough becomes the truth.” Therefore, when a lie or rumour is circulating, you need to stop it from spreading or need to correct it if you are to avoid misinformation. You may be humble, nice and gentle but all those good attributes will not help clear the image if some damage is being made to your character.
A good example to illustrate this point is the location of Mount Kilimanjaro. Many people think and actually believe that Kilimanjaro Mountain is in Kenya! As a matter of fact, Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania! I remember someone taking a simple vote on where the audience thought Mount Kilimanjaro was, some six years ago at some location in the UK and the majority – well over 80% voted Kenya! All this happens because the Kenyans have promoted their tourism so well and they keep mentioning that tourists who go to Kenya will get a chance to visit Kilimanjaro (which is not far from the Kenyan boundary).
The Tanzanians have done very little if not nothing to claim their Mount Kilimanjaro. The great mountain has been stolen away from them in day light. Similarly, if great damage is done to what you do, what you stand for, what you have achieved or even to the person that you are but you do nothing to repair the damage or give the correct account, people will be bound to believe the information they hear or learn.
If you are to excel in your career, you need to protect all your interests. You ought to project a good brand of yourself and everything that you do. Each time your interests are projected wrongly, you need to clarify and correct, instantly. There is no tomorrow when it comes to making corrections and putting things in the right perspective. It has to be there and then! As you seek to be an achiever, you ought to gather enough courage to correct all wrong statements and to leave no vacuum of information. Whenever there is a vacuum, any material that has access finds its way into the ‘vacuum container’. Make sure you take the first step to fill the vacuum. Vacuum of information is dangerous for you and so dangerous for your professional development, professional standing and professional status. Good luck as you explore ways to fill all information vacuum spaces that are relevant to and important for your personal growth and professional development! n