Drunk and Stupid Isn’t Good

‘Tis the season to celebrate. Sometimes we celebrate with work colleagues, and sometimes there are spirits involved. The alcohol kind of spirits.

That is a dangerous combination.

In one of the greatest movies ever made, Animal House, Dean Wormer tells Flounder that “Drunk and stupid is no way to go through life.”

It’s no way to go through a business gathering either.

I’ve seen literally countless careers destroyed at various business functions where a person either didn’t or couldn’t control their intake of “filter remover.” The result was they did or said something that ended their career immediately or in the very near term.

So have fun, enjoy your time with colleagues, build your network, and socialize. Just remember your “brand” is on full display, out in the open in all it’s fragile glory or brutal disgrace.

You only get so much credibility in life and you need to decide how much of that valuable commodity you’re willing to risk for a couple of extra beers.

I’ve written about this before but it is worth repeating. I believe we all have a credibility bank, when we fail to honor a commitment, fail to match our words with our actions or just plain lie, our “bank” suffers a large withdrawal. When we consistently keep our word, do as we say we will do and our actions match our words then our “bank” receives a small deposit.

It takes a whole lot of those little deposits to make up for even one withdrawal. That may not seem fair but it is what it is. The amount of credibility in your credibility bank has a direct impact on every suggestion you make, every idea you present and every opportunity for promotion in your career. You may not like it, you may not agree with it but that’s the way it is.

I’m always surprised by people who get drunk with colleagues or customers in an attempt to “relationship build” and are then surprised when the same colleague or customer doesn’t take them seriously in a business setting.

You will never be able to fully “unsay” what you have said. A few beers or a couple of drinks can make anyone say something they wouldn’t normally say. All the regret in the world can’t put the words back in your mouth so be careful.

Some of the best advice I ever received was this: think BEFORE you talk. Maybe this is even better advice: think BEFORE you drink!

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