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Things to Think About - Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret

By Pepper de Callier

"Speak when you are angry--and you will make the best speech you'll ever regret."  Laurence J. Peter

Unfortunately, I learned this lesson the hard way early in my career.  I wanted to impress my boss and the other partners of the firm, so I worked hard to conceive, and to sell, a large consulting project with a blue-chip organization.  I was so proud of what I had accomplished.  I got a call from a senior partner, the partner who was in charge of this particular industry sector.  He congratulated me on my fine work and then he told me that in order to deliver the best effort to the client, a senior partner should now take charge of the project.  I could still be a part of it, but lead it.  I was furious.  How could he!  I did all the work and now someone else would get to lead the project—how can this be!  To make a long, and painful story short, I allowed myself to get hijacked by my ego and I said some things that I would truly regret.  The bottom line was, what I had said, in that moment of anger, told these senior partners everything they needed to know about me—I wasn’t a team player.  Fortunately, I learned my lesson and now look back on my behavior as coming from someone I don’t recognize.  Unfortunately, I would have to apply what I’d learned at another firm.  Don’t allow yourself to be hijacked by anger.  Ask for a break in the meeting or call.  Do whatever you need to do to get time to gather your thoughts and stop yourself from making a serious career-limiting mistake like I did.

Till next time… 

Things to Think About Series by Pepper de Callier:

Things to Think About (By Pepper de Callier)
Who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying
The secret to success is to maintain enthusiasm between failures
When you are the anvil, hold you still.  But, when you are the hammer, strike your fill
Success is getting what you want.  Happiness is wanting what you get
I am not an Athenian, I am not a Greek, I am a citizen of the world
When I’m afraid of losing, I never win
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear
Our greatest freedom is the freedom to choose our attitude
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... 
How hard it is, sometimes, to trust the evidence of one's senses! How reluctantly the mind consents to reality.
We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are
It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves 
If you believe everything you read, better not read 
People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care
Winning is as much about attitude as aptitude especially when the chips are down 
The human mind treats a new idea the same way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd 
If you can't explain it to a six-year-old, you don't understand it yourself
There are some that only employ words for the purpose of disguising their thoughts 
Go beyond the dominant voices to ask, ‘Who are the missing voices.

About the Author: Pepper de Callier is one of the most respected senior executive coaches and authorities on leadership in Europe. Learn more about him at

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