Following the sudden retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson, came the announcement that star Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes is hanging up his boots (again).

The “Ginger Ninja” has been a brilliant player for many years, but you’ll never hear him say it.

He has always kept a low profile, preferring to let his football do the talking rather than make outlandish statements about himself or his team.

And in retirement, he’s more likely to take an assistant coach’s role and spend more time with his family than be found in a high profile and better paying media job.

So, what do his footballing peers say about him?

French superstar Zinedine Zidane, after being asked what it’s like to be the best midfielder in the world simply replied, “Ask Paul Scholes.”

From Barcelona’s Xavi, “In the past 15 to 20 years, he is the best central midfielder that I have seen.”

And this from Roy Keane, “An amazingly gifted player who remained an unaffected person.”

In an age of self promotion and attention seeking, Paul Scholes lets others do the talking.

I suspect that we could all learn from him.

I know that there are times when I want to bring attention to myself in my efforts to break through, but I’m better off focusing on developing my skills and doing my best work.

As I see it, we each have four choices:

  1. We can talk about ourselves, telling the world how good we are.  That rarely goes down well!
  2. We can live anonymous lives, giving no-one the opportunity to say anything (good or bad) about us.  Meh.
  3. We can become notorious, building for ourselves a negative reputation that ensures we get noticed, but for the wrong things.  It’s an all too common choice these days in our quest for instant fame and to get noticed at any cost.
  4. We can put our head down and focus on producing work that matters, creating lasting value, building meaningful relationships and becoming so elite in our field that people can’t help but notice and do the talking for us.

Which one are you?

What are others saying about you?

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