What is a Maverick Man - we start by describing him as “grit and guts, but a real class act”. But what is that? What does it mean, and what does it look like in real life?
This month, we’ll be discussing what it means to be a class act. We’ll put it in context with real life examples, applications and stories from Your Maverick Man’s own experiences. We’ll give you examples of Maverick Men in the media whose characters exhibit a lot of class.
A class act.... unfortunately, most people get this wrong. They assume that being classy is all about the way you dress. Or worse, they assume that being classy is looking down their nose at others. Being a class act is not about clothing or fashion - although a great looking getup can look and feel very classy. And it’s not about assuming a position as if you’re better than everybody else.
Class is something that is internal - it’s the “real” you.... what and who you are on the inside. It shows up in everything you do and say, and starts with the way you think. When you change the way you think, you change the way you behave - your self-talk; your conversation topics (esp what you’re willing or not willing to talk about with others in public), and what and who you spend your time, resources, and energy on.
Let’s explore how a class act sees his world - how he thinks about different situations and scenarios. Because, it is often subtle behavior and manners - those small things - that separate the classy from the crass.
In general, a classy person is someone who knows how to carry themselves with poise, grace and dignity - in other words, they know how to walk, talk, and act. They know when to hold their peace and when to make a stand. They could be dressed in their worst attire, but their behavior can’t help but make you respect them. They’re ... well, classy.
How does this happen? Is a person born classy? Even though a person’s training or family background can put them in a position to learn how to conduct themselves in a classy way, or how to choose clothing that might give off the appearance of class, real class is something that has to be learned and practiced through experience. All the training in the world won’t prepare you for EVERY situation, for EVERY confrontation, or jerk or whatever it is that will put to the test who you really are on the inside.
You may have heard the question, “What do you get when you squeeze that tube of toothpaste?” The correct answer is, “Whatever is inside of it.” We don’t feel squeezed when we’re feeling good, life is good, the sun is shining, the wind is blowing in our hair (if we have any) and “everything’s going my way”. But how do we act when things are NOT good? When that jerk mouthed off to you - again.... when someone cuts you off in traffic... when someone took your parking place or the position at work you should have had, (or worse) .... when things are NOT going your way?
A class act learns from mentors and role models, from reading, and from putting into practice certain guiding principles about WHEN to be assertive, when to act, and when to simply walk away. Will you get it right every time? No. You’re human. But it will get easier and you’ll know faster which way to go, when you’re motivated by those guiding principles, that can keep you grounded and staying on track with who you are. You can learn and grow and become that class act you want to be.
So what are those guiding principles of the class act? What motivates a man to act this way or that, to say certain things, or simply keep his mouth shut? We’ll just list the principles in today’s post, and will elaborate on each one in future posts with examples and real life applications.
7 Guiding Principles of a Class Act
1. I am confident and authentic:
I will discover who I am: what makes me unique, what I like/dislike; what I think is important (and not); and what I stand for.
I will remember that life is not all about me.
I will discover where I fit in the world/workplace/home/community and enjoy the journey.
2. I have personal pride (but not to the point of arrogance) - I will be the best me I can be, inside and out; excellence is my goal
3. I am considerate and respectful, kind and courteous - I treat others the way I want to be treated (not the way I’ve BEEN treated).
4. I’m careful what I say - I think before I speak; I don’t gossip.
5. I am slow to anger - I stay calm, cool, and collected, and I will learn when it’s appropriate to "let the dogs out".
6. I can be influenced and taught by others, but not controlled by their opinions or actions - I have the say in what I do or not do and am responsible for my choices.
7. I’m a man of integrity - and I never compromise my integrity.
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