YOU HAVE JUST BEEN ANNOUNCED TO THE PODIUM TO SPEAK, IMMEDIATELY AFTER A VERY PROLIFIC ORATOR IS RECEIVING A STANDING OVATION and you feel very inadequate to speak? Indeed the ovation for the orator was so loud and sustained, it almost felt as though it was for you, except that you had not uttered a word yet. You had to somewhat try to quieten down the ovation with a wave of hand, so you could at least speak. It almost felt like your speech was unnecessary because the first speaker stole the entire spot light.

You just took over an office and right from the gate, praises and encomiums are still being showered on your predecessor. Nearly always every statement, the situation is compared to what your predecessor would have done. You almost feel as though you met the guy whose shoes you now wear, by virtue of all the expressions.

People could almost tell that the size of shoes you now wear are oversized shoes. You almost want to literarily stuff them shoes up so you can at least walk/ work some pace around the office.

I recall during a church program, a preacher was pontificating and carrying his audience along with some cheers, until The Bishop T. D. Jakes walked into the auditorium.

Bishop Jakes wasn’t speaking that night, he was billed to speak the following night. He in fact had just arrived and wanted to check out the auditorium. The crowd would not stop applauding Bishop Jakes.

The crowd would bust into cheers, clapping and hooting for Bishop Jakes, even though there was another speaker on the stage in the middle of his message?!. The other speaker was so embarrassed and distracted by the cheers for Bishop Jakes he had to stop speaking. Bishop Jakes has to apologize to the speaker in an introductory remark. The crowd was inflamed, yet again as he took the microphone to speak.!

Would you like that to be you? A Bishop Jakes ovation even though you were not yet speaking? But Bishop Jakes had been speaking in a sense over the years. That’s why even before he spoke, the crowd wanted him.

What would your successors say after you, when you are long gone? What would your subordinates say of you long after your exit? What would be a pointer to how you worked and the legacies left behind?

Some people are forgotten the minute they walked right out the door. Others are noted for helping their pockets and not encouraging growth at the work place. The subordinates didn’t get coached or mentored, are some feedback statements. Indeed, subordinates learnt nothing from the Boss, and they would always say so after the Boss leaves.

Always have the end in mind from the beginning. Each time nature smiles at you and gives you an opportunity to lead or serve, be the best you can be, knowing that someday, you would leave some shoes behind. Always put your best foot forward. It would be nice to leave very huge size of shoes behind, than to leave undersized shoes that cannot fit anyone’s feet.

If your absence isn’t felt, know, you didn’t deliver. If you are not having referrals and occasional calls to help out on certain tasks or issues, know, you under performed. If positive feedbacks are not filter back to you somehow, know, you goofed.

Increase your shoes size by your performance, now that you have the stage. Make a mark, or a dent on the universe as Steve Jobs put it. Be innovative. Creative, but empathetic to those you lead. Learn from even the lowest ranked officer, be teachable. Impact knowledge freely. Delegate sometimes to ensure you are growing your subordinates.

Be a team player. Set goals and standards. Accomplish them. Set new ones, again, and again. Encourage your subordinates to appraise you unreservedly.

That’s how your shoe sizes gets enlarged.

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