Weekly Thought – April 7, 2020
Fred wanted his epitaph to read “He Stretched Others.” A large part of living that out was through his business career. He identified talent and nurtured it.
The thing I enjoy most about being an executive is the opportunity to help people. One of the challenges to me is finding people who can fall either way off the fence. There are those who can fall into mediocrity or with the right shove can fall on the side of productivity.
Of course, there are the highly motivated one who do not need this push. They will fight their way out of a slump, up through an affluent culture with their tremendous drive, and talent… they are exceptional.
But there are many who don’t shine or show out. As youth they fall into the middle (and often muddle). They may end up being routine workers with jobs that have little or no promise. They will be on the same track for their lifetime.
These are the ones I enjoy finding. I see a flicker of a flame that hasn’t been fanned. I see “a lithe in the window because someone is home.” Often it takes very little to get them on to another track. I have been surprised many times by what they can overcome and accomplish.
Belief is critical to this transformation. When I was with GENESCO I spent much of my time in the plants and the various departments. I met a man with an eighth grade education, working in the inspection department. He wanted more, but thought his education deficiencies denied him progress. Today he is the President of a small company in Chicago. What made the difference? I believed in him. He finally saw the artificial barriers he created were just that – artificial and counterfeit. He understood he didn’t have to accept this.
I can repeat story after story of people who had someone believe I them and give them the needed shove. You may call this process mentoring, sponsorship, or in the Christian context discipleship. Helping another shift from one track to another can change their destination.
Consider those around you who could transition from mediocrity with your supportive shove.
Think carefully about: 1) Who first said to me, “I believe in you?” 2) How can I make a difference in a person’s life direction? 3) What motivates me to stretch others?
Words of Wisdom: “I believed in him.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, just as you are in fact doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NET Bible)