Jack Myers is a media ecologist and chairman of Media Advisory Group, which provides economic counsel to more than 250 media, advertising, marketing, entertainment and financial services companies who subscribe to the weekly Jack Myers Media Business Report.
Jack speaks internationally on the impact of emerging media technologies on society, culture and business. He is an award-winning documentary film producer, author of four books and founder of the Women in Media Mentoring Initiative and Syracuse University Newhouse Network.
1. Be Sensitive to the Changing World of Men
Many of us men are desperately clinging to the old days and ways of masculinity. However, the fact is, for better or for worse, the role of men in society is changing.
Roles are no longer as black and white, and the expectations of men in society are no longer as set in stone. It is imperative to your success as a man in this new world that you are willing to evolve and adapt with the times.
Understand that women are wanting men to express more sensitivity and vulnerability, and this should no longer be seen as weak. Understand that being a man in the 21st century is a balancing act, and you will have to learn quickly or fall behind.
2. Society Has Not Taught You to Succeed
The media portrays men as morons and buffoons or dishonest polygamists. Characters like Homer Simpson and Peter Griffith are the mainstream expectation for men to live up to.
Unfortunately, the media has not helped men to figure out who they are supposed to be or how to balance classic masculinity and the more modern need for vulnerability.
To find role models and examples of the kind of man you should be, you have to look past the poor media portrayals and sitcom expectations of manliness to find out how to properly acclimate to the ever changing climate of manhood.
3. Learn to Communicate and be Honest
At the heart of the problem men are facing is our inability to effectively communicate. Read: Men suck at sharing.
The thing is, there is good reason for this. Men who wear their heart on their sleeves and are overly emotional are seen as weak and effeminate. Once again, this becomes a balancing act.
The key is to learn to open up to those who have earned your trust, and when you open up, be completely honest, don’t lie or hide things for fear of their repercussions.
4. Get out of Your Social Comfort Zone
One of the best ways to improve yourself as a man is to step out of your social comfort zone. If you are an A type personality athlete, then spend some time hanging out with the geeks and musicians.
If you are a straight guy, try making a couple of gay friends. If you are a more emotional and “metro” type guy, start hanging out with some of the MMA and UFC crowds.
Long story short, broaden your horizons, hang out with people who are nothing like you and see what you can learn.