Arrogance and Entitlement
Until last evening, I’d never heard of former CT governor, John Rowland. Even as closely as I watch politics, Rowland’s time in the limelight was nearly five years ago-before I kept close tabs on such things.
However, if you’re from CT, you probably know the governor as a crook. And he is-self admittedly.
See, with all the hoopla about the current governor situation in Illinois, much more attention is being paid to other political figures controversial doings. Rowland doesn’t have anything quite as blatant on his record as the current IL governor, but nonetheless, the law is the law…and Rowland broke that law. He resigned from office in 2004, admitted his mistake, was found guilty and served 10 months in a federal pen in Pennsylvania.
Last night, I was flipping around the tube and found Mike Huckabee’s show on Fox News. Rowland was Huckabee’s guest and spoke openly and candidly of his illegal affairs. I’m quick to write off lawbreakers as crooks, especially politicians. Rowland is no different, but after his interview, I cut the guy a little slack. Why, when I despise pretty much all politicians, would I give grace to an admitted crook? Simple: we all make mistakes. When one admits those mistakes and openly (and honestly) tries to right that wrong, I’m a little more compassionate. Rowland, from what I gathered last night, ain’t just blowing smoke. He seemed genuinely sorry for his deeds and doesn’t try to redirect the public eye from his wrongdoings.
When Huckabee asked Rowland why he committed his crimes, Rowland spoke about his arrogance. An elected politician since the young age of 23, Rowland worked his way up through the CT political scene until he was elected three times-the first trice elected CT governor in over 200 years, not to mention the youngest CT governor ever.
But, he said, he started believing his own press releases. He actually believed all the butt kissing yes men around him, started feeling as though laws didn’t apply to him and, well, his actions got him caught by the feds. He very plainly says he was arrogant, felt a great sense of entitlement and the combination of these two were the ingredients that led to his downfall.
Again, my Rowland knowledge comes from reading about him on Wikipedia just now, and a 10 minute interview last night. I’m not well educated enough to comment if he’s a great guy, or a crook per sey, but I do agree with his summations on arrogance and entitlement.
When one starts believing the great things people say about them, there’s trouble afoot. This is a personal thing for me-and a fine line to walk for most every speaker I know.
In my business, where self promotion is the name of the game, this is an easy trap to fall into-and I never, EVER want to start thinking I’m something great. Instead, I think the information I have is great. That information is the thing which keeps the audience and my readership asking for more. I’m not cool enough to be the guy on my press releases, but I do know there is information I have which has helped me-and can help others.
If I ever stop distinguishing between the two, someone tell me, okay? I’ll never do something so disingenuous I’ll do time, but my integrity will always be something I’ll work hard to preserve.