While teaching in Chile this week, one of the women asked me how to deal with her boss who treats her like a child. I asked her what she does now. She said she ends up arguing with him even when the issue is not worth her time.
I remembered a time when I was complaining about a similar situation to a friend when I was still working for someone else. She offered this advice… “He is doing the best he can with the amount of light he has. He has little light while you have big light.”
I heartily agreed with her.
Then she said, “So you have to model what big light looks like.”
Ouch. Yet during my next performance review, I found a chance to try out her suggestion. As my boss told me I would never be promoted because my position did not warrant it (my position was typically held by a woman and there was only one women who had ever sat at the executive table), I breathed in my anger and held my tongue.
Then he said, “But you have a lot of big challenges ahead of you.”
I pursed my lips, resisting a look of disdain. What did big light look like? My head didn’t feel that light.
Then I remembered that I had a vision. I did have big challenges ahead. I had a vision of when I was going to start my own business. When I gathered the skills, knowledge and money I needed, which would only take me about another 8 months, I could pursue my mission of humanizing the workplace with my own logo on my business card.
With my vision as my anchor, I could choose to not waste my time bickering with my small-minded boss. I smiled, told him I would give him a list of my new goals within the week and left with grace.
During the next few months, he approved most of my goals and programs without question. Since I gave no energy to the fight, he backed off. And I got the critical experience I needed to feel confident in my leap.
Are you clear about your mission and vision? If you are, you can shine your light as you walk down the path, even when the moment feels dark. When you have to make a decision, you will know what to do even if your vision is light years away.
Hold your vision as your anchor and model the behavior you want to see.
Share your vision using the comment button on my blog. Declaring it in public can also help it see the light of reality.