The pictures above are of the seedling of a mighty tree. It is growing in a hole in the sidewalk, and you can tell by the tattered leaves, it’s growth has caused it to be stepped upon. Have others noticed it? Perhaps, but for those stepping on it, probably not.
Its size potential I’m sure is mighty, but will it be able to survive in the hole and grow to what it was meant to be? It’s doubtful because of where it is located. I cannot help but feel sad for it. So what can I do to give it meaning (besides trying to transplant it)? I pondered that question (after all, it is my hashtag #MelodysEyes). What possible message can this tree have for others whether it survives or not?
How about this message perspective….
Most of us have heard the term “Glass Ceiling” in business. The phrase was meant to bring awareness to unfair practices of holding people down, denying them advancement. What is the true cost of the glass ceiling? It is the foot on the mighty. It prevents the beauty and magnificence they were born to be. Those under the “glass ceiling” have mighty potential or they wouldn’t be able to see the glass. Could there be a mighty tree in your company? We will never know the potential someone has until we stop limiting how they grow. Like the seedling in the picture, perhaps relocation is the only way it can grow.
What is the environment you are a part of? Does everyone have room to grow or are there those putting their best efforts in to grow, but only being stepped upon in the pathway? Employer or employee, what are you a part of? Are you proud of what it stands for, not just for yourself, but for those around you?
That is the type of conversations that are needed and actions to observe. Do you see those working hard being passed over time and time again? We need to start to notice and question and be a part of that change. Is there a reflection in your business, at any time, “we all know (so & so) deserved that promotion. If It keeps happening they are going to leave.”? A thought, a water-cooler conversation, those are things we need to pay attention to. Not an easy thing to recognize – but important. Sooner or later you might need to react with your own role.
What’s your character?
What kind of character do you have? If that unexpected promotion is offered to you, and deep down, you who know who truly deserved it, what would you do? Would you reflect on the benefits of it to your family and accept it, or would you be able to speak out and tell them why you are turning it down? That could even cause them to see, and become aware of an issue they never recognized. You will never know if you accept it. You will have to choose whether to listen to your soul and see what’s right, or your ego that keeps you in the safety of your own outcome. After all, couldn’t the company get upset if you turn it down?
What about them?
What if that person (a mighty tree in their own) gets stepped on (by you) and they decide to leave because of it? What wound would their absence create in your work environment? Could it even hurt your work because they are gone? Maybe they felt no choice but to look elsewhere to provide the benefits that position offered.
When it comes down to it, does your character allow you to step on someone else’s growth when you know they are trying? That is all on you.
If we all look beyond our own spot and help each other, we become the business family that inspires others. Notice them. It’s the first step to change.
Written by Melody Belliveau