21 Ways to Spot a Gentleman

Have you ever met a Gentleman? Someone with class and sophistication? Do you remember the Grey Poupon ad some years ago? “Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?” I loved that ad.

Recently a very successful physician turned entrepreneur called me. We met at his magnificent home on the shores of Lake Washington, in Seattle, WA. It was a mansion. 10,000 square feet. He is a class act. A true gentleman. We conceptually agreed to work together. As I drove home I considered all the qualities he possessed. Here is my short list. I call it, “21 Ways to Spot a Gentleman.”

He asks questions based on research
He listens, truly listens to your answers
He does not interrupt
He refrains from trying to “One Up Me” with a better story
He remembers the names of people important to me (my children)
He is a pragmatic optimist
He is naturally curious
He avoids telling dirty jokes
He is well dressed but not flashy
He is up on current events
He asks what books you have read the last 90-days
He sits erect, has great posture at all times
He keeps his word, to himself first, others second
He is confident but not arrogant
He waits until everyone else has their food before eating his
He avoids criticism and judgment
He is well spoken with an impressive vocabulary
He is fit
He avoids cursing and foul language
He treats his wife with respect and dignity
He is thoughtful and generous

I realize this is quite a list to live up to. As I drove back to my office, I realized he had given me a great gift, able example. Was he successful because he had all these qualities or did he have all these qualities because he was successful? The former I believe. He was not born with these behaviors, they were honed, developed, nurtured, and crafted over time. Trial and error. Did I mention he kept a journal and jotted down things he heard me say? A true student. I came to the conclusion I have a lot of work to do.

I wonder what will become of me. I wonder how I will be remembered, what will be said of me at my funeral. I hope at least some of these qualities are mentioned.

I enjoy investing time with Gentlemen. I learn so much. “Pardon me…”

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