A Reluctant Big Shot

I like being around accomplished men.

  • Smart men
  • Successful men
  • Wealthy men

I do not like being around d-bag men.

  • Guys who make sure you know they went to Harvard or MIT within the first thirty seconds of meeting them
  • Guys who insist on being called “Mr. so and so” by everyone who works for them
  • Guys who humble brag about the high cost of a Ferrari tuneup

Now go back and read the two lists again. Did you notice any similarities?  Both lists are saying the same thing, but the first list is bathed in humility. The second list is bathed in cheap cologne.

The first list is made up what I’m calling reluctant big-shots *. Men who have influence because of their performance not because they set out to be a big deal.

How do you tell if a guy is a reluctant big-shot? Compare him to:

  • Walter Cronkite
  • Warren Buffett
  • Sam Walton- (Don’t judge him on what Wal Mart is today because it’s a shell of his dream. Read his autobiography to learn about the real Mr. Sam.
  • Zig Ziglar

Then there’s the Ron Burgandy’s of the world


These guys had a goal to become a big deal just for the sake of being a big deal. The Ron Burgandy’s of the world like it when it others think they are a big deal. And they like it even more when people tell them they are a big deal.

Telling the difference isn’t hard, but it can be hard to describe how you know the difference. You just know.

Like the old E.F. Hutton commercial, when a reluctant big-shot talks people naturally listen. When a Ron Burgandy wannabe talks he has to remind people they should listen to him.

How to be a reluctant big shot

The French philosopher Blaise Pascal asked, “Do you wish people to speak well of you? Then never speak well of yourself.” Or to put it in simple terms, refuse to blow your own horn.

A reluctant big shot should be a goal of every modern southern gentleman because we’re all built to be a guide to others and reluctant big big shots more chances than ron burgandy’s


*I stole this phrase from Kurt Vonnegut who used it to describe Walter Cronkite