I had the most inspiring discussion yesterday with a depth-ful and thought-provoking man. His mission in life is to empower others, to help them become a vital part of their community. He shared many stories with me, and as I listened, I thought, “What a remarkable leader!”
He lives in a community where people are outcast from society because they are physically crippled. These individuals believe that they have no value, and have bought into a belief that they are a worthless nothing in their community. This man, however, tells them they have plenty to offer. Not only is this “untouchable” touchable to this man, he truly reaches into their innermost self, dispelling such a belief. He touches not only those he reaches out to but, like myself, who hear his stories, we are lifted up and moved deeply.
I compared the work I do to his work. While he works with those that are crippled physically, I work with those that are crippled by their limiting beliefs, crippled by their blind spots, crippled by fear of failure or not being successful enough, and the list goes on. In summary, as a leadership coach, I work with those that are emotionally crippled.
The more I engaged with this man, I experienced how his devotion and passion fueled more passion for his work. I wondered at his drive and the told me he works through lunch so that he can make a 25-hour day out of a 24-hour day. So driven by his desire to lift people up, he told me sleep is secondary. I began to understand the nature of this man and realized that this man is free from those issues that cripple us emotionally.
Living his deeper truth that all of us are valuable, he has transcended the limiting constraints put upon us through culture, belief systems, and the worst crippler of them all, doubt. In his own words, doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.
I inquired about his thought process and he summed it up this way:
- I care so I share
- You care so you share
- They care so they share
Questions naturally arose from this poetic three-line verse. Questions each leader could contemplate regarding their role as leader, mentor, and being the bridge between the different levels of their organization could be:
- How do you care?
- Why do you care?
- What do you care about?
- Who do you care about and why?
- When do you show you care?
Every person is a participant in other people’s welfare whether we are conscious of it or not. These same questions can be asked replacing the word care with share. How do you share? You get the point.
There are a plethora of leadership articles about becoming more employee-centered and valuing the people that make up the organization. Exploring these questions are a way to help us all become exemplary and inspiring leaders. Being focused more on the other person than on our-self is a way, perhaps, to tear out the root of the issues that cripple us emotionally. When we are emotionally crippled and haunted by doubt, the questions to ask could also be phrased this way:
- Why don’t I care?
- How come I don’t share?
Asking these questions could be a way to flush out those issues that limit us or keep us blind. The challenges we often face may be more about our emotional cripplers than we realize.
“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet go out to meet it.” –Thucydides
Note: I want to thank Jonathan Solomon for sharing his vision and passion. His leadership qualities of empowering individuals, sets the bar at one of the highest levels I have experienced.
Originally published at Bizcatalyst360
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