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You Can Cry If You Want To

by Richard Norris on July 24, 2014

Disappointment 300x211 You Can Cry If You Want To

Cry If You Want To

It has long been held that real men don’t cry. Where that belief came from may be unknown but beliefs can change. Men can cry, do cry, will cry and should cry.

I’ve never held to the belief that men, real or not, don’t cry. Neither do I believe that if a man cries it is a sign of weakness.

Call men weak who are crying because they are the victorious winners and losers of the Superbowl, World Series, a world championship, World Cup or Olympics. Tell that to any man who has just lost his wife and/or a child or other loved family member or friend. Tell that to Jesus. Jesus wept (John 11:35).

A man is certainly not defined by whether he cries or not. The way I see it, man and woman are designed to cry. Why do we have tear glands if they aren’t meant to be used? Tears function to keep the eyes clean and clear. True. Ever get a piece of grit or a bug fly into your eye? Tears also flow when linked with a strong emotional event or experience be it positive or negative.

Do you cry?

I do. Always have done. Often. I cry because God has been so good to me. I cry with love and gratitude for my life, my wife, Nancy, and our kids. I cry for those who suffer – orphans, victims of disaster etc. As a veterinarian, I cried when pets died. When I was a child I cried when I got hurt. I cry watching movies like Old Yeller or Pride & Prejudice.

I recall the first time watching The Blues Brothers with my family one Christmas. All of us were creased up with laughter, at times, with tears pouring down our cheeks.

Tears of joy are always acceptable and never questioned. However, watch an emotional, heart-moving drama or biopic or a tragedy unfold and tears of sadness or empathy may well be considered a sign of weakness amongst us men. And it appears that it is only men who think this way.

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:..a time to weep, and a time to laugh…

Ecclesiastes 3:1,4

Most women don’t think any less of a man if he cries, particularly if he is hurting. Crying may well mean you are showing yourself to be vulnerable, but women are more likely to see that as a sign of strength rather than of weakness.

I’ve never really been too concerned with what others think of me if I am crying. What other people think of me generally is none of my business. If I feel like tears need to and are going to flow, I let them. As tears are meant to keep the eyes clean and clear, I also believe tears help cleanse your soul.

Have you ever been with some friends or colleagues and something absolutely funny happens but you know you shouldn’t laugh? Despite our efforts to contain the laughter someone can’t control themselves. They burst out laughing. That’s the catalyst. Everyone else does too. It’s like social validation. To keep such strong emotion in check would likely do us damage.

Rightly or wrongly, many of us men tend to wear masks (we’ve discussed this before). We are actors on the stage of a Greek tragedy. We put on a brave face when going through tough times. We try to keep up appearances that we have our act together; that we are in control. Sorry to be graphic here, but these masks are like a scab covering an abscess. I saw many of these when I was a veterinarian. All may appear okay on the surface, but when you remove the scab you get a load of putrid pus. It stinks. It’s toxic. It often made the animals really sick. Yet, once you released the pus, the animal brightened. So, crying can and will make us feel better in such instances. It’s a bit like Shrek when he first belches – “Better out than in I always say.”

As far as I’m concerned it’s okay for me and you to cry. I’m OK. You’re OK.

Today, there appears to be a call for women and, perhaps, especially men to be authentic. We are meant to be genuine – our real selves. Not who we want people to believe we are, but who we truly are. No holds barred. So…cry if you need to. Not only will it help you but your example may be just the catalyst others need too.

Your Powerplay

If you feel like crying, do it.



Where Do I Resign?

by Richard Norris on July 21, 2014

Retire Resign Boxing Gloves 300x212 Where Do I Resign?

Where Do I Resign?

Resigning is rarely easy and often comes as a result of pressure. The understanding is that it’s better to resign than continue. People may resign for a variety of reasons. It can be forced or voluntary. Regardless of the reason, at the time, it is considered what is best for all concerned.

Unlike being fired, resigning does provide the opportunity to leave a given role with grace and dignity. I’ve had to resign formally twice in my career.

The first was to resign my commission in the army. I did this voluntarily with the backing of the head of our Corps. Despite my enjoyment of my army career, this decision was made because I had other career plans and had fulfilled the obligations of my duty.

My second resignation was something completely different. I had been engaged in a sweat equity deal with a new and expanding global company. I had been working intensely for about 2 years with little return. I had invested a lot of time, energy and money with the expectation of a very significant pay-off. I eventually realized that my efforts were not being rewarded; the company and my working relationship were failing. I tried to do as much as I could to keep things alive. After all, I had invested a lot in it. I didn’t want to quit. However, I finally reached a point where to continue was a liability to my credibility. I was resigned to my need to resign. As a result, I submitted my letter of resignation to the CEO. Whilst this was voluntary, I felt like it was forced by circumstances. It was definitely a very painful and costly decision. I learned 28 lessons.

On both occasions, my resignation was the right thing to do. My wife thought so. My pastor thought so. My friends and colleagues thought so. I thought so.

From what have you resigned or need to resign?

Sometimes resigning does not mean what you may think it does.

Recently, I was confronted unexpectedly with the need to resign again. I was listening to a webinar on business success. The speaker said that in her past she had reached a point in her business where she could not go on any longer. She came to the realization that she had to resign from her business. Specifically, she had to resign from trying to do it all herself. When she did that’s when her business really took off. This hit me hard because it sounded just like where I had got to with Leading Men Only.

As you may know, the definition of insanity is that you keep doing what you’ve always done but expect different results. Although I’ve tried many tactics and strategies based on best practice, for some reason or reasons, I have been unable to bring the growth I expected. (Please note the purposeful use of the word, I.) Like the speaker, I’ve reached a point where I cannot do it on my own. I cannot achieve the vision I believe God gave me for Leading Men Only. I must resign. More specifically, I must resign from trying to do everything myself. Even though I outsource some work that needs doing, it’s still not enough. I must resign my desire to control. I must resign from my fears pertaining to what it will take to make the vision come true. I must step down.

I know it’s the right decision. The evidence is there. The timing is right. If things are not working, if performance is not as expected, then something must change.

As with any change, for that change to begin it must begin in you. So… I am making some changes.

In a democracy, when you get 20 million people in the street, you resign.

Mohamed El Baradei

My first action was to pray and ask God to accept my resignation. I asked forgiveness not only of God but of myself.

President Nixon resigned back in the 70s. He said he was not a quitter but he had to put the needs of the nation ahead of his own. I can relate. I’m not a quitter either, but I have to consider what’s best for all concerned – you, me, my family and God.

A decision to resign should always be made based on priorities, values and what’s best for those who matter most. Resigning is exercising your power to say “Yes” to what’s wrong and “No” to what’s right. Resigning provides an opportunity for all parties involved to start anew and make changes for the better.

For me, my intent now is to focus on who God needs me to be and what He wants me to do to grow Leading Men Only. As in the days of the disciples, for God to grow anything of importance, He requires a team. Jesus had the disciples and look what that has led to – the growth of the Christian faith. To grow Leading Men Only, I need a team. I, too, need a few good men (and possibly women). But I’m not going any further on my own. My self-leadership and the success and significance of Leading Men Only depend on it.

Your Powerplay

Note where you are trying to do things on your own and they aren’t working. Time to resign and start anew.



The Temptation Of Pride

July 17, 2014

The Temptation Of Pride Pride is considered a sin, especially when it’s focus is oneself. Leadership demands a lot from leaders but when leaders put themselves before others their leadership is in jeopardy.  Such pride is a real danger that can ruin leadership. We men are, perhaps, most susceptible to pride because of our tendency, […]

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