How the Road to Awesome Goes Through Jury Duty

A few months ago I received terrible, earth shattering news.  News so impactful, it stopped me in my tracks.  I was being summoned to jury duty.  I understand the shocked pause you just had as you read this post.  I am busy, work in sales, and get bored easily.  I simply cannot serve on a jury.  Or so I thought. My recent experience as a juror, more specifically, the foreperson, opened my mind to this amazing experience.  It was an education and an honor to serve.  Yes, cliche’, I get it.  Read on…

This is Swampyank's copy of "The Jury&quo...

This is Swampyank’s copy of “The Jury” by John Morgan, painted in 1861, and now in the Bucks County Museum in England. More information about the painting can be found here: [|inline= (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are hard working at the business of becoming and maintaining your awesome. Also at making a living. One of the common themes among successful people is the ability to understand the big picture.  This can be understanding their overall corporate impact, or a societal impact, such as how my Jury duty fits in the  American justice system.  Realizing that you play a subordinate role in the larger picture, invokes either a jaded response of not caring, or a sacrificial response of giving with open arms to the experience. Appropriate engagement in things such as Jury duty are key to maintaining a free society and are key to your personal development.  Experiences you may not volunteer for offer you the opportunity to step away from the comfort zone and grow.  Simply showing up is not awesome and limits the experience .  I chose to give it my full effort.   While I learned a lot more than what I’m sharing here, I chose the three most pertinent to our discussion:.

1. Dress for the part:  This may seem basic, but is so often forgotten.  Understanding your environment and what is the norm is so valuable.  Dressing too high or too low can kill and interaction before it even starts.  With the internet, twitter, and a little (I mean little) effort, you can figure out what is acceptable.  No ties in Hawaii, and no shorts in court.  You’ve hear it a thousand times, “control the controllable”…this is something you have absolute control of.

2.  Confidence and Decisiveness in Persuasion:  Being confident and decisive brings so much weight to a negotiation.  Being awesome involves an intentional approach to lining up the facts and understanding the parameters of a decision.  Confidence and decisiveness is not a closed mind to dissenting opinions.  It’s actually the opposite. With all the facts lined up, you can stack dissenting facts right up against your facts.  In a persuasive environment such as a jury room or the board room, having the knowledge of where you can give a little and take a little is key to gaining the edge in persuasion. This, in turn, moves things forward toward awesomeness.

3.  Debrief to maximize learning.  Being intentional with your time opens up opportunities to pause between situations.  Taking a few minutes to a few hours depending on the specifics, to chronicle the preceding events and gain valuable learnings is so important to becoming awesome.  The awesome person is a PHILOSOPHER (lover of knowledge)  in the truest form.  Whether your role was as a leader or passive player, be a “curious sponge”.  Engage in the experience of learning.  You must be intentional by taking some time to ask questions of yourself and others if appropriate.

Share some experiences that surprised you with positive impact.

Rocco De Leo



Be a Faker and Remain Authentic


No Hunting (OR TRESPASSING) (Photo credit: Nathan James)

You’re asking yourself, ” how can a guy who published an article on AUTHENTICITY write an article about being fake?”. Keep reading.
You are in the midst of a good [not great] and productive life.  You are moving along nicely with a decent career, family, and some personal goals.  Yet, there’s something missing…fleeting.  You are staring down the barrel of a rather intimidating milestone age and hear nature’s time clock tick…tick…ticking away.  To be honest, When I say “you” I mean “me”…and “you”. With the birth of our 5th child, I have had an awakening.  This is why I am writing this blog.  You have these moments.  I have more to offer.  You have more to offer. Do you know how much Barrack Obama spent to become President in 2012?  Nearly a billion dollars.  Crazy?  For a job that pays $400,000.  Not crazy enough.  Mitt Romney spent nearly the same  NOT get the job.  Presidential candidates have their lives, and their family’s lives, torn apart, researched and flushed out.  We all know where all the bodies are buried.  Why do they put themselves through this?  Ego.  Not in the sense of I’m cool and you’re not.  Obama so believed the world must have him as President that he would endure almost anything.
 I’m assuming you are not running for president.  But, almost as intimating, you are or are trying to step out of your comfort zone and SAY something.  You are timid about pushing forth your dream, especially when you have yet to perfect your message. Permission has yet to be granted for you to “intrude” upon the world. You fear this vast land filled with great minds. You feel guilty just listening in on the conversation.  Like you don’t belong. You sit in the back of life’s classroom and half raise your hand to say something in the ongoing conversation of society.  Quietly you apologize, in essence telling the world that you are an intruder rather than an active and worthy participant.  Today, through my FAKE power and FAKE authority, I am granting you FAKE permission to speak.  Seth Godin, one of the most respected blogger/authors in the world was once a FAKER.  He granted himself persmission to speak.  It’s time for you to grant yourself permission.  You have something important to say.  The world WILL be BETTER for having heard your message.  FAKE your confidence until you make your confidence.  The world can’t wait for your confidence to catch up to your message.  We need you NOW.  SPEAK!
Rocco De Leo