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Forget Savior, I want a Soldier

When it comes to business, there are prophets who inspire, lead, and push us to greatness. We relate to them through their stories and struggles, we laugh with them over shared experiences and we strive to emulate their formula for making profit where there is purpose.

I am no different from the rest of corporate America when I describe myself as a "Committed Coachable" leader. There is value in learning from others. However, I would suggest that there is more value in contributing with others.

Do you remember the time when you wanted to know how to be successful in your career? How to quickly climb the ladder and gain a reputation as an effective leader before you turned 30? What happened after the promotion and the coveted raise became a reality? Did it seem like nirvana then? Did you reach the place you had always wanted to go?

We begin to view the questions in a different way when we find ourselves disillusioned with the answers. Welcome to the high-tech/low-touch workplace of today. It becomes a difficult struggle for workers to balance producing more in a highly effective way with the time and effort it takes to demonstrate emotional intelligence with coworkers. How would it change things if we helped each other to feel good, important, valued on a daily basis?

I asked myself how I did that today.

Maybe it was when I heard something close to panic in an employee's voice when she was describing how she had forgotten to complete a task that she knew would upset her boss. I intentionally softened my tone, made a kind remark and we had a laugh. It wasn't much and I didn't fix her problem. We were just human together for a moment.

I spent time at lunch with my mother and son today. My mom was emotional when it was time to leave because she had treasured our time together so very much and realized moments like those were becoming fewer and further between. Life.

Jack Welch didn't tell me to do those things. I didn't listen to a TED talk to remember how to work together to lift someone's spirits. There is no one among us who has become so disconnected from the human condition that they lack the ability to console and relate to another person. I would suggest some of us are just a bit out of practice.

In the midst of this political maelstrom, may I be one of the many who declares that I do not need someone to save me/us. In life, work, relationships of every kind, I really just want someone to soldier on beside me.

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