To digress from the point in the title for a moment, I wanted to share with you why I think I really enjoy blogging. It clearly has nothing to do with my writing ability, instead I think it has everything to do with my inner monologue. In first grade I got in trouble a lot for talking in class. Mrs. Kelly, please accept my apology. 23 years later I believe the reason I talked so much was because if I am awake there is always a conversation going on in my head. Question after question rolls through my head, epiphanies make me smile as I work out problems and to some extent I have learned to keep the talking to appropriate times. I believe the conversations in my head have caused me to ask enough questions that every once in a while I come across one that is worth answering and so I write about them.
The latest came from a fictional, although great, movie called World War Z (yes I’m aware I have poor taste in movies). Brad Pitt’s character, Gerry, has just figured out how to save the world from this horrible contagion but he is on a plane. He approaches the pilot, tells him his plan, and then asks, “Can you get me there?” The pilot nods in agreement and then Brad returns to his seat. For all intents and purposes, “Gerry” is the man with the plan, but for the next 4 hours (played out onscreen in 30 minutes) the pilot was the most important person in the world! In that moment it was totally irrelevant how awesome, hardworking, brilliant, likable, handsome or even how good Gerry’s plan was, he was totally dependent on the pilot.
How often do we find ourselves in this situation in our daily life? As a business owner, manager, parent or pastor we find ourselves with the right plan, the right work ethic, the right material, but we are in one way or another totally dependent on someone else for a part of our journey. I feel like many entrepreneurs may hate this fact but it does not make it less true. This is where your ability to connect and influence people comes in. There is an old saying, I’m not sure who said it first but I heard from Rory Vaden so I am giving him credit, “If you want to go somewhere fast, go by yourself. If you want to go somewhere far, go with others.” In my limited experience on this earth, I can tell you with certainty that anywhere worth going is far and you will undoubtedly need others to get there.
I urge you, no implore you to be mindful of this truth as you move through life and never feel the burden or the falsehood that you can or should do this on your own. You can’t. You were never intended to, so stop trying. You may have to go on parts of your journey alone while you are convincing people of your dream or purpose, but eventually you will need to engage others.
There is no magic mojo that makes you special. This is another fact I think many entrepreneurs will hate. We are all subject to life’s unfairness and trials yet I hear stuff like this all the time from business owners, “Everyone in the company could leave and long as I am here the company would continue.” Really? How utterly wrong, how arrogant, how sad because the truth is if you build your company that way you probably aren’t going very far. Employees – You wouldn’t be able to pay your bills if it weren’t for your boss. Bosses – Your widgets don’t get made if it weren’t for your employees so we have to start acting like we all depend on one another. Our individual importance will vary at different times in our lives and in different relationships, but it will never be true that we don’t need others.
I think it is funny to watch people’s reaction when I say I plan to change the world. Generally polite acknowledgment is the response but behind their eyes you see their thoughts. “Awww, that’s nice. He thinks he can do that.” I can, I know I can and I also know that I cannot do it by myself. I need you, whoever you are, to join me in your workplace, at your home, in your church or community to start realizing that we can change the world through the way we interact with one another. My focus will be on your workplace because I want to meet you where you spend a lot of your time, at work, but it will be up to you to take it from there. I can see the difference we can make, I can see the happiness that can come from a good company culture and I can see the ripple effect to the world. So today I say let’s start acknowledging those around us and saying, “If you can get us there, we will change the world!”
Warning this last paragraph is about my faith. If you don’t want to hear about it, you can stop reading now. My intention is to never to offend anyone.
“Woe is he that falls and has no one there to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:10
The fact that we will always need others was made clear 2000 years ago when the God of the universe sent His son to die on a cross for you and me. Don’t you see the message in that? Our sin had separated us from God and there is nothing we can do on our own to reconcile ourselves with God. Without His sacrifice there would be no path for us to spend eternity in heaven. We are divinely created to need something we cannot provide on our own. God programmed us this way.
Caleb Bagwell/Employee Education Specialist
John Maxwell Certified Leadership Coach
Grinkmeyer Leonard Financial
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1950 Stonegate Drive / Suite 275 / Birmingham, AL 35242