Gentlemanly Review – Jack Black – Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap

In the spirit of offering full transparency to the audience, the appearance of the Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap gave me quite the full-stop pause. So, I can totally understand why a regular gentleman would take a hard pass on purchasing this odd-looking piece of bar soap. During shopping excursions for grooming and hygiene products, I never embraced the risk and purchased the Jack Black charcoal body bar offering. Sure, I was thoroughly impressed with the Jack Black Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap, but this particular charcoal grey soap was a whole other animal. It was just recently that I discovered that charcoal could be used as an ingredient in soap. My mind pondered why I would rub my body with a dirty, grimy briquette that was better served on my Weber Grill. I plead ignorance. Nevertheless, more than a year after my initial encounter, I decided to take a chance and purchase a value set that included the charcoal body bar. And wow, I was completely astonished by its performance and results. Check out my findings below.

Observations

  • First things first: Why is there charcoal in my soap and won’t my shower be a filthy mess? Simply answer: The type of charcoal used in soap is actually “activated charcoal”. It is still derived from charcoal, but it has been subjected to very high temperatures, transforming it into a powdery, non-toxic substance. Being highly absorbent, activated charcoal swallows up toxins, oil, and dirt.
  • This isn’t prettiest body bar on the market, but in this particular case, appearances are deceiving. Oval, dark charcoal grey, complete with circular nubs on the underside; this bar soap would not be the first item you drop in your shopping cart. Nevertheless, the bar soap performs its duties quite well. The lather is moderate to heavy depending upon how vigorously you rub on your body or washcloth. And speaking of rubbing vigorously…
  • Infused with charcoal and jojoba beads, this bar soap is very grainy. It serves as a fantastic exfoliating agent, however, I would caution against using this product if you have sensitive skin. You will certainly feel the gritty surface of the bar when applying it to your skin. I advise that you address rough skin patches with a light, gentle touch. This is definitely a body bar. I definitely recommend that a gentleman not use this product on his face.
  • Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar has a pronounced, sharp, and lightly aromatic fragrance. It rinses clean and the scent will fade after an hour or slightly less. Despite its dark hue, this body bar rinses clear in the shower without a mess – aside from the dirt and grime it strips from your skin.
  • It doesn’t boast the mass like Jack Black Turbo Body Bar Scrubbing Soap, so I would estimate 3 weeks or so of grooming service.
  • Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap retails for approximately $15.00 for a 4.75-ounce body bar. An auto-replenishment program is available (1-6 month subscription) that offers free shipping and deluxe samples.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

Daddy Diary – Not All Superheroes Wear Capes – Sometimes It’s Just Mismatched Pajamas & Crew Socks From Target

Nervously, I sat silently at the breakfast nook table awaiting an answer from my daughter. Ava was the Star Student of the Week, and the theme for this month was being a superhero. She was supplied with a poster with various blank sections that required fun, personal information about herself. There were sections that required a list of fun hobbies, an imaginary superpower, and the names of people in her super team (family members). There was also a section reserved for the identity of who was a superhero to her. I sat with her filling out each section. Finally, we arrived at the section that required the identity of her own superhero. And so, I asked the question and anxiously sat on the edge of my seat waiting for an answer. In popular culture, the role of the father is sometimes boiled down to an unaware nincompoop that faints at the first sign of a soiled diaper, is inept at preparing a decent meal, and is devoid of emotional intelligence that is essential for raising children.

Fortunately, young children are not well-versed in popular culture. They won’t succumb to the whims of societal pressure. So as I waited for Ava’s answer, I was hoping for some unbiased truth that wouldn’t sting too bad. Her choices were plentiful: Moana, Doc McStuffins, or any member of the PJ Masks super squad. Selfishly, I was hoping I would make the cut. To my relief, Ava revealed that my wife and I were her superheroes. As a parent, especially being a father, one only wishes that the job you perform as a parent is recognized on some level. To be loved, respected, and appreciated by your children is the greatest reward anyone can dare to hope. Through her lens, we were granted superhero status, and I felt joyous inside. So, I began to ponder what superpowers did I inherit after becoming a parent. I was able to readily identify five super-parent abilities. If you are a parent, you are probably familiar with the list below very well.

Super-parent Abilities

Intuition

  • I knew that my daughter wanted to be Moana for Halloween before she ever told me. So when I inquired about her preferred costume for Halloween, she confirmed that my assumption was indeed correct. Fully equipped and tailored with the Heart of Te Fiti pendant, Hei Hei the chicken, her magical oar, a Moana wig, and an authentic dress from Motunui (well, Target that is); she won the best overall costume for her age group. Parental “spidey senses” are quite useful when your entire world revolves around anticipating your kid’s wants and needs. And it is especially helpful when identifying potential danger around every corner. Case in point: Miles loves to be the “line leader” when entering school. However, he isn’t tall enough to be seen through the glass window by anyone on the opposite side of the door. On this particular day, he dashed to the door before me, and seconds later I spotted another gentleman about to open the door from the other side. Instinctively, I outstretched my arm (36/37 dress sleeve’s worth) to prevent the door from swinging open, thus “saving” Miles as noted by Ava on the poster above. Funny, without coaxing an answer from her, she was able to remember this incident from months ago.

The Power of Persuasion

  • When I first became a supervisor, one of my directors called me into her office to perform an exercise that I believe would provide insight regarding my character and thought process. She asked what would my superpower be if I was a superhero. Inspired by a series I was watching at the time – Jessica Jones season 1 – I believe I surprised her by referencing a little known villain by the name of Zebediah Killgrave. Killgrave’s mutant abilities included but were not limited to mind control and master manipulation. I admit this was a curious selection on my behalf, and my director’s facial response said as much. Why would I choose a villain with seemingly evil superpowers? Because, when utilized with principled and honest intent, the power of persuasion can be a valuable tool when interacting with a toddler. My communication skills are best described as thoughtfully measured, honest, reassuring, and transparent. In my profession, these traits are quite useful when speaking with colleagues, hospital staff, sales representatives, and vendors. Oh – and toddlers. Whether extracting splinters, administering breathing treatments for the first time with a scary mask, or persuading a child to trust you with a hairdryer as you quick-dry nail polish; establishing comfort and trust is essential as a parent.

Reflexes & Speed

    • I am blessed and thankful that neither of my children has experienced some kind of severe calamity in their early childhood. Nonetheless, that is not to say that I’ve been immune to close calls. As I mentioned before, especially with children, there is potential danger around every corner. And while it is always good to anticipate unforeseen peril; properly reacting to said peril is paramount. Now, one doesn’t need to be exposed to gamma rays or bitten by a radioactive spider to be endowed with uncanny strength, speed, or reflexes. Fear and adrenaline will work wonders. One such time involved a mental lapse on my behalf. One afternoon, I was taking Ava for a walk through the neighborhood. As I turned to close the garage door, I failed to engage the brake on the stroller. When I refocused my attention to the stroller, it had begun its descent down the driveway. Now, I may not possess superhuman speed like Quicksilver or Flash, but this big guy performed his best Usain Bolt impression and raced down the driveway to safely secure the runaway stroller. Calamity averted.

Hearing

  • As a parent, trust me, your ears will become perfectly synchronized with your child’s sound, both frequency and decibel level. You will also be able to detect the absence of sound. Sometimes it can be too, too quiet. How sharp will your hearing become? One night after putting the children down for bedtime, I retired to the family room to enjoy a few television shows. Faintly, over the volume of the television, I could hear my son crying out. With super-parent speed, I vaulted up the stairs to my son’s bedroom and discovered he was having a nightmare. I retrieved him from his bed, draped him over my shoulder, and soothed him back to sleep. Another circumstance found me pulling into my driveway after a day at work. As I exited my car to grab some groceries from my trunk, the sound of a distraught little girl caught my attention. Instantly, my brain began to decipher whether the child was mine and what direction the wails were being emitted from. Grocery bags and all, I ran to the backyard and found my little girl in distress over the presence of a bumblebee. We had to move dinner inside.

Invulnerability (not really)

  • After my wife and I closed on our house, we soon discovered a beehive inside a basement wall. My mother-in-law lived a few blocks away, so Stephanie was at her house tending to a newborn Ava. As I was at the house attempting to pinpoint where and how bees were filtering into our basement, I was summarily stung in the face. As I staggered to my mother-in-law’s house to put some ice on my cheek, I found Stephanie with an inconsolable child that she was unable to lay down for sleep. Swollen, burning cheek and all, I took possession of Ava, turned on Kenny G’s Greatest Hits, and cradled her to sleep on a nearby couch. No, my skin is not impenetrable, but I suppose it heals rapidly and is somewhat pain resistant – that bee sting hurt!

For more of my adventures, check out entries from my Daddy Diary for your reading enjoyment.

Black Thought

“The rich man who achieves a degree of greatness achieves it not because he hoards his wealth, but because he gives it away in the interest of good causes.”

-Benjamin Mays

A thoughtful gentleman clearly understands that his blessings are not of his own. His success is not a singular possession that lays clenched in miserly hands. He logically comprehends that he cannot exist as an insular entity-isolated from his community. No, his true greatness is predicated on charity and service to his community. His wealth, not necessarily in monetary terms, must be distributed to those who would definitely benefit the most. Blessed to be a blessing, a gentleman enjoys watching others thrive and succeed. He possesses no stock in watching others fail. Succeed as a collective, or fail separately. The choice is clear. It is imperative to use one’s wealth of knowledge, or wealth of finance to better those around you. Pay good fortune forward. Tutor. Volunteer. Donate some business clothes to someone in need. Today, someone is in need of your help. Heed the call. Give back!

Style & Substance – Cremo – Premium Boar Bristle Beard Brush

As I am currently growing my beard long for the winter – Sons of Anarchy style – it was a prime time to search the market for a proper beard brush. My facial hair has the tendency to get wild and woolly, so the need for an appropriate grooming tool to keep my growth in check is a top priority. Aside from the desire for a neat appearance, I also have a bad habit of tugging the hairs on my beard the thicker it grows. My wife absolutely hates it. I already own a few beard combs to deter this compulsion, but unfortunately, they leave a graveyard of tiny hairs in the surrounding area. Therefore, I resolved myself to hunt for a beard brush, and I was elated to discover one at my preferred retail location for home goods – Target (pronounced Tar-jay). Available for a shade under $10.00, the Cremo Premium Boar Bristle Beard Brush is the perfect grooming companion for the discerning, bearded gentleman. Compact with a sturdy wooden handle, the stiff boar hair bristles are rugged enough to smooth and detangle my beard without leaving hair everywhere. However, it is not so stiff that it is abrasive to one’s skin. I also like the small size because it travels well without being a chore to carry on your person. It keeps wayward strands of hair in check for a tidy appearance, and it satisfies my urge to tug at it and leave unsightly patches. Definitely worth the $10.00 price-tag.

Daddy Diary – Beyond Dirty Diapers: 5 Things Every New Parent Will Loathe That They Were Never Warned About

Now, before I bear the entire brunt of the Internet parenting community, I wholeheartedly agree that becoming a parent can be a wondrous joy. Nevertheless, I would not be honest if I did not admit some aspects of being a parent that is quite a pain. Sure, you are bound to encounter that one parent that extols the sheer happiness and bliss of having children. And don’t get me wrong, in many situations, this is absolutely correct. However, as new parents will soon realize, there are some facets to parenthood that we unconditionally detest. Dislike. Hate. Loathe. Now, for the purpose of this post, I am going to exclude the usual suspects: changing diapers, lack of sleep, etc. Because, being a parent or not, who would love cleaning up feces 8 times per day on 4 hours of sleep? And Lord, for our first child, my wife wanted to use cloth diapers. That novelty was jettisoned out the window by the time our second child arrived. Soaking, scrubbing, and washing cloth diapers with OxiClean and a toothbrush did not lead to a happy disposition. I confess this particular pain point was self-inflicted insanity. However, parents-to-be, I am warning you. There are certain situations that you may not be able to avoid, and you may be caught with your guard down. I am here to provide a heads-up.

Daycare/School Tuition

  • My 5-year-old daughter can explain how a bat uses echolocation for flight navigation. My 3-year-old son knows his vowels and understands what doleful means. My daughter and son both can name all of the continents. There are science projects. There are spelling tests. Therefore, I cannot complain too much about my children’s schooling. Nevertheless, the cost of quality education can be financially debilitating for many parents. It is not unusual for one parent to take a temporary hiatus from work, stay home with the little ones, and forego the need for daycare or early education programs entirely. Seriously, the cost of daycare might as well be a second mortgage and car note. And if a school is closed for any reason, you may find yourself scrambling for child coverage, or you may have to forego work for the day. So you may miss a day’s pay and still have to pay for that day of schooling – double whammy! Trust, investing in your children’s future by providing quality education is one of the biggest responsibilities that a parent will undertake. Nonetheless, be forewarned, it is going to hurt.

Parental Title

    • Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. Hey Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. Hey Daddy. When your child is an infant, you eagerly await to hear those magic words that indicate a verbal form of parental recognition. Hearing mommy or daddy for the first time is a milestone that every parent anxiously anticipates. However, when your child starts to seriously form thoughts and sentences, brace yourself for a torrent of inquisitive inquiries and miscellaneous proclamations – all prefaced with mommy or daddy. Let me tell you, forget waterboarding as an enhanced interrogation technique, play a voice recording of a kid repeating daddy or mommy on a continuous loop, and watch your subject snitch out the entire organization and identify intended targets. You can add sleep deprivation for good measure. We hate that too remember.

Car Seats

  • Trust me, the installation will never be as easy as the instructions or video will illustrate. Simply put, properly installing a car seat will be a pain in your back. Squeezing into a backseat to engage in a life and death struggle to safely install a car seat is no fun. Ask any parent, once that car seat is properly installed, you never want to remove it again. EVER. However, you will not be so lucky. One night, my wife came home late with one of the kids and I was greeted with the task of cleaning up vomit from the car seat. So late into the night, I had to remove the entire car seat, remove the upholstery, wash it, dry it, put the upholstery back on, and then reinstall that bad boy. Keep that instruction manual close – you are going to need it.

Be a Referee

  • My children can have the same color bowl with the exact amount of popcorn in each, and they will still find a way to bicker over who gets what bowl. If you have more than one child, prepare for the incessant arguing and bickering over the most meaningless subjects. Lord have mercy.

Daylight Saving Time

  • Every autumn, you perhaps eagerly anticipate the time when you get to enjoy an extra hour of sleep. If your state observes Daylight Saving Time, you know what I am referring to. But guess what? If you have a little one, your child’s body has no idea the time has shifted back an hour, or the time has shifted forward in the spring for that matter. So if your child’s wake up time is 7 a.m., be prepared to be stirred from your slumber at 6 a.m. And conversely, if you’ve jumped forward an hour, prepare to drag your kid out of their bed from a dead sleep. The solution for “falling back”: adjust your child’s bedtime 15 minutes later each progressive week (up to an hour) leading up to Daylight Saving. The reverse should be done in the spring and adjust bedtime 15 minutes earlier. I was lucky with my second child, as Daylight Saving does not appear (3+ years and counting) to have affected his sleep schedule.

Gentlemanly Review – Jesse Jimz – Clean Slate Purifying Face Wash & Toner

As a gentleman matures, so should – theoretically – his taste regarding grooming essentials. My grooming routine has continuously evolved over the course of the last decade. The only grooming products in my bathroom consisted of bar soap, lotion, deodorant, and toothpaste. Speaking of bar soap, it was not that long ago that bar soap served as an all-purpose combatant against dirt and grime. It was my shampoo. It was my face wash. It was my body wash. Nevertheless, I slowly began to realize that bar soap should not be deployed for so many grooming duties. I began to slowly experiment with facial cleansers specifically formulated to address dirt and promote healthy skin. Bar soap can be rough on a gentleman’s face. Besides, do you really want to use the same soap used on your nether regions to be applied to your face. If that does not sound great, check out Jesse Jimz Clean Slate. Touted to cleanse the skin of impurities, restore your skin’s pH level, and even out your complexion. Check out my thoughts below.

Quick Observations

  • Jesse Jimz Clean Slate arrives in a dark brown squeezable bottle. The clear liquid dispenses evenly with a light, clean aroma. A nickel-sized amount is sufficient enough to work into a mild lather that covers your entire face. It isn’t slick or oily, so that was a positive.
  • The rinse is clean and does not leave troublesome residue. Jesse Jimz Clean Slate also performs double duty as a beard wash, so that is an added bonus for my bearded brethren. While it does not dry out your skin, a good moisturizer is still recommended after you’ve washed your face.
  • With the benefit of also being a facial toner; a gentleman can expect a reduction in oily skin, clearer pores, and an even skin tone. Over time, a gentleman should enjoy a healthy and vibrant complexion.
  • Jesse Jimz retails for approximately $25.00 for a 6 oz. bottle. I would estimate that a gentleman should be able to use a bottle 1-2 months if product is used every day.

Gentlemanly Review – Paco Rabanne – Invictus

I’ve read the reviews online – the good, the bad, and the indifferent. And my conclusion was not a surprising one. Paco Rabanne Invictus is, without a shred of doubt, a polarizing scent. Not exactly sophisticated or intricate, it is a fun scent nonetheless. Perhaps the ubiquitous nature of its smell is what draws so much discontent. The notes have a common and familiar feel to them, nothing really stands out. Now, there is a saying: You can’t judge a book by its cover. Well, I was judging Invictus by its cologne flask. Opportunities have presented themselves many times for me to sample Invictus, but the presentation struck me as gaudy. Therefore, I associated tackiness with the potential of a cheap scent. Until finally, I surrendered and decided to give Invictus an honest assessment. Love it or hate it. Check out the details below.

Observations

Top Notes: Mandarin Orange, Grapefruit, Sea Notes

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Bay Leaf

Base Notes: Patchouli, Guaiac Wood, Oak Moss, Ambergris

  • The presentation of Invictus is, well, quite flamboyant. In Latin, Invictus means undefeated. Drawing inspiration from that translation, the flask is fashioned in the shape of a trophy. I cannot state that I am thrilled with the design, as I prefer a cologne bottle not be a showpiece. Nevertheless, evidently, the intent of the flask is to make a statement. Mission accomplished. The cologne is dispensed by pressing a button centered on the top of the bottle. The projection is forceful and distribution is even. Don’t go too crazy – more on that below.
  • As many people will attest, the top and middle notes of Invictus are notably sweet. Some gentlemen may fiercely argue too sweet. If you are searching for a cologne that boasts a complexity of layered notes, Invictus is not for you. Fresh and citrusy sweet, Invictus starts strong and does not lose momentum until many hours later. It’s simple and straightforward; maybe a little too generic, but it performs well. I actually prefer the dry-down because the sweetness mellows out a bit. Personally, I don’t detect any strong woody notes at the end, but it does lean on the slightly spicy and floral spectrum.
  • This fragrance can be worn casually during the daytime or evening. If you operate within a casual work environment, it may work there as well. I strongly advise 3-4 applications around the neck/shoulder area and abdomen. I will caution again, do not go overboard with your applications. This is a strong cologne.
  • Paco Rabanne Invictus is intended for the gentleman that prefers a casual, sweet, and aromatic fragrance. There isn’t anything groundbreaking here, but a gentleman will benefit from a workhorse cologne that will deliver 8 hours or more of performance. I applied a few spritzes after a late-night shower and my wife loved it. In a strange way, I could almost categorize this cologne as unisex. Perhaps that is why she was drawn to it, as it was something she could probably wear herself. That may deter some gentlemen, but that should not be a dealbreaker. Trust me, you won’t smell like a woman.
  • Paco Rabanne Invictus can be purchased in the following sizes: 1.7 ounces at $70.00 or 3.4 ounces at $90.00 – Available at Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sephora, Ulta, and other fine men’s department stores.
Gentlemen’s Standard Approved
Disclosure: TGS was not financially compensated for this post. Item was purchased for personal use. The opinions expressed are completely my own based on my experience.

What I’m Wearing – Style & Substance – Citizen Brycen Eco Drive Chronograph

Peculiar as it may appear for a guy that pens material about stylish presentations for men, I have never possessed a healthy curiosity for timepieces. Sure, I owned a few unremarkable pieces – Kenneth Cole fashion watches to be exact. However, its ownership was born of a necessity to wear a watch during more formal occasions – nothing more. My understanding to date as far as being a properly attired gentleman is concerned, a proper timepiece is almost always an integral component of one’s presentation.

Nevertheless, I have never assigned myself to the popular belief that a watch represents a gentleman’s station in life. Determining a gentleman’s position in life – based upon a discreet accessory worn on the wrist – was not fair and presumptuous. Moreover, given the digital age we all currently enjoy, being cognizant of the time should never be an issue with ubiquitous displays surrounding us. Smartphone. Tablet. Laptop. Desktop. Hell, a good old-fashioned wall clock will even suffice when necessary.

So, unless I was scheduled for an interview or attending a wedding; wearing a watch was simply nonessential. However, during the course of the past year, I was subjected to mild abuse from a work colleague regarding the lack of watches in my personal collection. His perspective did not hinge as much on the status symbolism, rather, it was intended to complete a distinguished and dignified presentation for a gentleman. And after some personal reflection, that standpoint began to resonate. Over the course of the following two years, I added a few modest pieces to my collection.

One of those timepieces was a token of appreciation from my employer for 15 years of dedicated service. No, it was not a Rolex. Nonetheless, I was not ungrateful. And actually, I was presented with an entire catalog of gifts for my selection, so I was very appreciative. The gift catalog featured a handsome selection of watches; I eventually landed on the Citizen Brycen Eco-Drive Chronograph. The Japanese watch manufacturer is an excellent entry-level choice for a gentleman starting a watch collection. I selected this model because of its old-school, utilitarian aesthetic. It’s a hearty, sporty timepiece. I love the navy face partnered with a brown semi-perforated leather strap. The case is 44 mm, a bit large, but not too gaudy for my sizeable forearm and wrist. The Eco-Drive technology means it is powered by light, so maintenance is extremely minimal. The complications feature a tachymeter, 1/5-second chronograph measuring up to 60 minutes, 12/24-hour time and date. This is my casual or business-casual timepiece; perfect for denim jeans, khakis, merino wool v neck sweaters, or crisp sport shirts.

 

The Standard #42

A gentleman understands that position and power should not be prostituted for profit and pleasure. Rather, an honorable gentleman understands his platform is erected upon pillars of purpose and principle. Embracing a mission of justice and service, he understands that power and prosperity can be perverted if treated as a self-serving priority. Therefore, his conduct is grounded in truth, integrity, and righteous action. A gentleman that declares himself a leader will work at the behest and best interests of the people. Superlative servitude within a community is at its best within the sphere of sacrifice. Power should be wielded for the community and never against it.

Style & Substance – Don’t Get Cold Feet – A Modest Endorsement For Woolen Hosiery

Because, after exhibiting a steadfast faithfulness to his cotton companion, a gentleman deserves to explore options of the woolen variety. Don’t your feet deserve an added layer of warmth and comfort? If you are fortunate – some may argue the contrary – to live in a locale that offers the cozy comfort of gradually declining temperatures, woolen socks may provide some sought-after respite during a chilly commute. I procured this beautiful woolen pair from J. Crew during a clearance sale, as spring was on the horizon during the time. I fully understood the repercussions of my late season purchase, as I would not be able to reap the benefits until now. No worries, historical purchases educated me regarding the merits of woolen hosiery. It would be worth the wait. Some may argue that wool offers a sophisticated touch that stands superior in comparison with its cotton counterpart. I would agree. True, cotton can be manufactured in various forms. Nevertheless, when standing head-to-head with merino, mohair, cashmere or even donegal – cotton hosiery tends to come up slightly short in terms of texture, depth, warmth, and comfort. Wool absorbs moisture better than cotton, so your feet should remain warm and dry. For laundering, I suggest washing woolen socks in cold water on the delicate/handwashing setting, preferably with Woolite Dark. Woolen socks can be expensive, as it is not uncommon to expect a price-tag of $20.00 and greater for one pair. Nevertheless, there are some brands that offer options slightly less than that. Nordstrom’s house brand clocks in at $16.50 per pair or 3 pairs for $40.00. Both Cole Haan and Lorenzo Uomo have deals for 3 pairs for $30.00. And perennial favorite Gold Toe has 3 pair for $21.00.

The Standard #52

If I have gleaned any knowledge working within the confines of the corporate world, it would definitely be understanding the necessity of having a strong network in my selected area of employment. Undoubtedly naive, my entry into the corporate environment commenced with an incorrect belief; a trust that hard work alone would translate to acknowledgment and then advancement. I was seriously mistaken. The knowledge and work performance a gentleman wields within the workplace are just as important as the individuals a gentleman knows within the workplace. To be certain, deftly weaving a tight tapestry of professional connections can help progress a gentleman’s career and provide outlets to a myriad of opportunities that may nurture both professional and personal growth. I am quiet by nature, but being locked down in my cubicle studiously working under the radar was not doing me any favors. To provide my career with a much-needed injection of significant development, I needed a great deal more than labor alone.

Now, I can credit 4 colleagues – all in management – that encouraged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone and seriously consider advancing my career within the company. The first step was discovering my voice, volunteering for projects, and increasing my visibility within supply chain management. As I stated before, I am a natural introvert, so communicating my thoughts aloud to other individuals was challenging. Nevertheless, the more I spoke in open forums and collaborated with other people, I began to feel more at ease with being more vocal. If you want to advance your career in a meaningful fashion, I strongly encourage the exercise of extending yourself beyond your comfort level. A gentleman should identify individuals that will readily exchange valuable skills & insight, embrace stretch assignments, and actively collaborate with persons he wouldn’t necessarily engage with normally. Think of it as a human portfolio that boasts an intellectual diversification suited for professional and personal growth. Success is not procured within a vacuum, it is nurtured within an environment of varied thought, experience, and learned guidance.

Someone you know needs to read this, so share if you care. Empower and encourage someone today.

The Standard #37

Rest assured, the successful gentleman is never content with static movement in regard to his professional career. He continuously seeks opportunities for advanced growth that will cultivate and promote an ever-expanding, internal knowledge base. Moreover, rest assured, the successful gentleman is never an active participant in his own professional or personal limitations. Being average – at best – is never a standard that is tacitly sought or readily accepted. Eagerly accepting a personal challenge for greatness, he sets the standard by which all others will be measured against, as he is devoutly dedicated to adding value to his life. And empowered with a clearly defined purpose, he ensures that his education never succumbs to restriction and halts. Constantly learning, constantly evolving; this gentleman understands the sacrifice that is required. It may mean accepting projects foreign to his current job description. It may mean late evenings filled with laborious research and reading. It may mean forgoing some sleep or outings with friends. Nonetheless, your trade must be perfected and your personal best must be cultivated. Plying your craft, increasing one’s knowledge in a given profession is paramount. With each drifting day arrives another prime opportunity to learn anew. So, what have you learned today?

Someone you know needs to read this, so share if you care. Empower and encourage someone today.

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