How do you show up in the world?
Author: Anna Ngarachu
When it comes to the pursuit of our dreams, as business owners and entrepreneurs, I believe it becomes vitally important to know how we show up in the world and how we treat others. I‘ll reflect on a lesson learnt from one of my best books on dream building that I believe everyone should read – particularly if you are building your empire as an entrepreneur.
In the book ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ the author, David J. Schwartz shares a very interesting story about the essence of leadership (do get a copy if you haven’t read it!). He states that the second rule of leadership is to ask the question, “What is the human way to handle this?”
Schwartz reflects on the story of John, an executive from an engineering firm that did something quite interesting in terms of handling the dismissal of one of his associates. This particular associate was hired by John’s predecessor, and John soon noticed that he was not made for this particular type of work – lacking the aptitude and interest. John realized it was a mistake to have hired him in the first place and so decided to dismiss the associate.
John, however, did two very interesting things. He didn’t use the usual corporate maneuver of calling him into his room and giving him 30 days to leave. He explained to the associate why it would be beneficial for him to find something where his skills and talents would be most useful, and thereafter put him in touch with a vocation coach. Secondly, John helped the associate find another work opportunity by setting up interviews for him with executives in his network.
When John was asked to explain his thinking, which some may find to be unusual or intriguing, he said that “anybody can hire a man, the true test of leadership is how one handles the dismissal.” I found this to be very impactful including the following statement that John used to highlight his human nature. John went on and mentioned an old maxim he always held onto, “Whoever is under a man’s power, is under his protection too”. I thought this was a powerful reflection of how we treat people in our daily pursuits and forced me to be more cognizant of how I show up to people every day, including those I work with. How are you handling things with people?
Schwartz sums up this chapter on leadership with a powerful one-liner asking the following question: “What world would it be if everyone in it were just like me?”
Take a moment to reflect on what example you set every day and what habits you’re forming. Are these what you would like to perpetuate? If not, what are you doing to change certain aspects of your habits and how you show up towards people? It may sound cliché, but it starts with us. The progress of anything we want to make happen starts with us. Improving our environments, believe it or not, starts with us.
I focused on the story of leadership because I believe we are all leaders. Leadership is not about position but mindset and how we conduct ourselves, especially because we constantly interact with a variety of people as entrepreneurs. So, when faced with a sticky situation, ask yourself, “What is the human way to handle this?” You may be surprised at the outcome and pleased with the example you set.
Anna Ngarachu |The Impact Storyteller
Here is a FREE framework of reflective exercises that will help you uncover who and what has been influencing how you show up in the world. A dozen reflective doses – Take the quiz!
Have you read my book 10,000 Steps Towards Me?