The Positive Aspects of Being Thick-Skinned

By • on January 4, 2009

When most people use the term ‘thick-skinned” to describe someone they are probably being a bit negative. The fact of the matter is that being “thick-skinned” can have a very positive outcome. The mighty Rhino has some of the thickest skin known to mankind…as do all great leaders.

Being thick-skinned doesn’t mean that you have to be cold, negative, or difficult to approach. It just means that you “know the ropes” and have climbed them inch by inch; sometimes slipping all the way down to the bottom rung. Only to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and grab that rope as hard as you can and attempt that climb to the top one more time. All the while, realizing that you might not make it to the top this time either; but having enough perseverance to try the climb again and again, until you reach the top.

What being thick-skinned really means is that a person can take more pressure, ridicule, and proverbial “hits” than the average Joe. Most of the time, a thick skin also serves to protect a big, soft heart. So being thick-skinned should make a person warm, positive, and very easy to approach, because of the higher understanding of challenges conquered.

There are six basic core values that are combined to help build the thick-skin or armor that is a mandatory asset for great leaders:

  • Humility – Being grounded in character and free of arrogance.
  • Humanity – Possessing compassion and serving others.
  • Integrity – Being true to yourself, your principles, your people, & your mission.
  • Surrender – Capable of delegating, sharing responsibility, and empowering others.
  • Humor – Not taking ourselves too seriously and capable of laughing at ourselves.
  • Optimism – Keeping a positive outlook.

If you are aspiring to be a great leader, take the following advice in the workplace. You might have to acquire a bit of a thick-skin, but your efforts will pay off in the long run, and will give you the thick-skin and big heart that you will need to be a great leader.

  1. Take responsibility for your actions. If you make a mistake at work; freely admit it. This behavior will let others know that you are not afraid to make mistakes and that you are honest in your endeavors. Great leaders know that failure precedes success.
  2. Give credit where it is due. Pat your co-workers on the back and give them credit for their contributions, no matter how small, and no matter if your contribution is greater. Great leaders realize that they need a strong team.
  3. Never boast about your accomplishments and your contributions; they will eventually speak for themselves. Do not expect to be recognized or rewarded for doing the right thing. Great leaders are humble.

The greatest leaders of all time have attained thick skin through all of the trials and tribulations of their lives. As failure generally precedes success, failure will help produce a thick skin.

Keep Charging hard!



By Dwayne D Schmidek - Canada on January 14th, 2009 at 10:42 am

The Positive Aspects of Being Thick-Skinned is one of my favorite this far. It talks about simple things we can do on a daily basis to become better leaders as well as better people in every aspect of our life.

What a great to start the day off by reading simple postive things that will make a difference in your day.

Thanks for all you do.



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