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Gardant CEO Message – May 2022

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From the Desk of the CEO 

Rod Burkett 


We all strive for approval in some form or fashion. As young children, we sense that we need to seek approval from our parents even before we have learned to walk and talk. We next learn that we need approval from our teachers as we have our academic performance graded and as we experience test after test. 

As we grow and become more social beings, we often feel the need to fit in, so we strive for approval from our peers. As we enter the working world and build careers, many learn that our success can be directly related to securing the approval of various stakeholders, often those with organizational power. 

However, when does the need for approval from others become ‘all encompassing’ and dysfunctional in our lives? Many years ago, famed business consultant and author, Peter Drucker, provided us with this insight, “We are here on earth to make a positive difference, not to prove how smart or right we are.” 

The need for external approval kills our individual creativity and our freedom. Aristotle said, “Criticism is something you can easily avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.” While it’s easier said than done, a simple recipe for overcoming an unhealthy need for the approval of others is to quiet your mind, and simply listen to your own heart and flow with the energy that comes from with inside. Your guidance for your decision making will then be a balance of what you learn from others, and from your own self-confidence, and not from an unhealthy reliance on the opinion of others. 

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