Be A Light, Not A Judge


Dr. Stephen R. Covey is perhaps one of the most quoted people of the past 100 years. With good reason.

His thoughts and actions were always aligned. What he said was exactly how he behaved.

One of his most impactful bits of wisdom was:

“Be a light, not a judge. Be a model, not a critic.”

I’ll bet you’re just like me, the beneficiary of someone who selflessly took you under their wing and lent you their status, reputation, and vision for your future career. Thank you, Jane Begalla. Sam Romeo. Patrice Hobby. Frank Stansberry. Chuck Farnsworth. Bill Bennett. Bob Whitman. Chris McKenney. Deborah Claesgens.

All of you lifted me. Lent to me. Guided and paved a path for me. Were my light.

Who’s on your list of lights in your life? Write the names down. I bet it’s lengthy. Send them an email, text, or call and thank them unexpectedly.

As we look to lift others, think of those in your life where you can be a light. Those who may have been passed over, discriminated against, neglected, or need a champion to lift them up. Maybe they need some private, high-courage coaching to address a blind spot holding them back. Maybe you could build a bridge for them to a new role or opportunity—a chance for them to show their value.

Now consider making a second list. This time jot down the names of colleagues in your organization that could rise to a new challenge with just a chance. A chance to show, shine, and deliver.

Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias. 

About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Releases, Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights From Our Greatest Minds, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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