According to observers as high up as President Truman, what separated George Marshall from nearly everyone else in the military and politics is that “never did General Marshall think about himself.”
General George Marshall was an accomplished man who refused to indulge in his own hype and success.
There is another story of Marshall sitting for one of the many official portraits that was required of him.
After appearing many times and patiently honoring the requests, Marshall was finally informed by the painter that he was finished and free to go.
Marshall stood up and began to leave.
“Don’t you want to see the painting?” the artist asked.
“No, thank you,” Marshall said respectfully and left.
As you become more accomplished, you will realise that so much of it is a distraction from your work, time spent with journalists writing glossy articles about you and your face on front page magazine covers, hyping your image on social media and other forms of media, awards ceremonies, marketing and PR are time away from what you really care about, you work.
Over time these distractions fuel your ego.
As his wife later observed, the people who saw George Marshall as simply modest or quiet missed what was special about the man.
He had the same traits that everyone has, ego, self-interest, pride, dignity, ambition, but they were “tempered” or regulated by a sense of humility and selflessness.
Hype leads to ego and unchecked ego hurts the ones we love, our partners, families, friends, and customers.
Like General Marshall, quietly walk away from things that have the potential to fuel your ego.