Q: Are successful people blunt by nature? In recent weeks, retired NFL star John Riggins has been scathingly critical of his former team, the Washington Redskins. Is his take-no-prisoners rhetoric typical for achievers? Do the tactful accomplish more?
Any time you have someone employed by the media saying inflammatory things to the media, you want to scrutinize their motives. One of the best ways to draw attention to oneself is to say something controversial, and controversy sells.
That said, I don't think being blunt or direct is a requirement for success. In fact, I don't think one has anything to do with the other. While you have many successful people who are very vocal in their opinions (think Donald Trump and George Carlin) there are an equal number of successful people who have no need to engage in controversy (think Bill Gates).
What sets a successful person apart is confidence in his or her abilities and knowledge. You just reach a point where you know what you know, and you recognize the value of that knowledge. How we decide to share that knowledge is up to the individual.
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