It’s a rare occurrence when our mindsets align to our actions, when our beliefs are evident in our behaviors.
We give it a lot of lip service, but is your paradigm really driving what you say and do? Consistently. So much so that it builds a reputation for you. It becomes so noticeable in your behaviors and the words you choose that your brand, as seen and experienced by others, is what you believe.
I think it’s rare. At least for me.
I’d define your reputation as simply the collection of all your decisions in life. What you decide to do, not to do, say, not say. What you decide to do, but then don’t – after you’ve told someone else you would. Or perhaps as importantly, what you do even after you’ve told someone you wouldn’t.
Bobby Herrera is the most outstanding model of congruence I’ve ever encountered. His book, The Gift of Struggle, is just that—a gift. Every year, there seems to be a single book or handful of books that become so popular that they dominate the gift-giving scene during the holidays. Bobby’s book launched in 2019, but his book is exactly poised to be this year’s holiday blockbuster. Simply put, the premise is that struggle makes us stronger. Kinder. More grateful. More abundant. Relatable. Simply better. Even more helpful to others.
I was unaware of his book, or for that matter, even Bobby, until Stephen M.R. Covey, author of The Speed of Trust and a repeat guest on our weekly podcast, On Leadership with Scott Miller, called me and suggested I read it. He’d become acquainted with Bobby and was a fan. I suspect like me, you have people in your life whose recommendations are the gold standard; well, Stephen M.R. Covey is that in mine. If he insisted I go eat sushi, chased by some grappa, before I saw Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No, I would do it immediately. (To be clear, I’m confident I’m not a fan of all three – yet.)
Bobby is all about valuing the struggle. I highly endorse his book, and if you’re still looking for some gifts for friends, your problem is solved. But beyond the topic of struggle, Bobby’s focus on abundance, service, and highlighting others is palpable in everything he says and does. He’s the best model of not just “turning the spotlight” onto others, but “becoming the spotlight that turns onto others” I’ve ever seen. There’s a subtle difference in this.
As leaders, we’re often advised to ensure our team members have a chance in the spotlight. To be mindful not to hog the attention or take all the credit. Sound advice. But imagine if we took it a step further, like Bobby, and realized in many cases we are the spotlight. Where we can use our position, influence, credibility, and reputation to bring others into focus. Instead of sharing the stage with someone else or moving to the side, recognize you are the stage. You are their platform; you’re using the wattage of your own light to showcase their talents, passions, and in many cases, genius.
It’s subtle but profound. It’s also a joy of leadership to raise others up and provide them an opportunity they might never be afforded if the spotlight wasn’t fully trained on them for all to see.
Who in your journey trained their spotlight on you? I bet the list is longer than you first think.
Think about the power of your own spotlight. Don’t underestimate it. How could you transform a colleague’s brand and career trajectory if someone else could notice them? Even for a moment. Or three.
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