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 twenty-three-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as the executive vice president of thought leadership. Scott hosts multiple podcasts including FranklinCovey On Leadership and Great Life, Great Career. Additionally, Scott is a co-author of The Wall Street Journal bestselling book, Everyone Deserves A Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices For Leading A Team. He is also the author of the multiweek Amazon #1 New Release, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow. Scott writes a weekly leadership column for and is a frequent contributor to Thrive Global. Previously, Scott worked for the Disney Development Company and grew up in Central Florida. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Scott Miller
Previous Video
Be real, be true, be you: Anne Chow
Be real, be true, be you: Anne Chow

Join Anne Chow, AT&T’s president of national business, to learn how to develop your own authentic leadershi...

Next Video
Fear has to become your best friend: Nely Galán
Fear has to become your best friend: Nely Galán

Nely Galán, the first Latina president of entertainment for a U.S. television network, discusses how to bec...

Six Ways To Help Your Organization Be More Inclusive