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23 September 2011

You'll Always Need a Hand

"No man is an island." This may ring your bell.

Have you met somebody who thinks he knows everything? That helping him would make him feel like an idiot? Who thinks he can learn everything by himself? And, he can do everything alone? It could be others, or it could be us. Sadly, if that's us, we cannot meet "him" until we face the mirror.

Why is it so difficult for us to admit our limitations? It could be because of insecurity, intimidation or we just hate to be ridiculed by someone better than us. As I walk back through where I've been through, as I recall the shameful experiences caused by pretending that I know something, I have realized that life could be easy if I was just true to myself. Thus, I developed the attitude of learning and listening.

It's painful to accept honest truth. It feels humiliating. Instead like a honey that cheers our soul, honest truth is like a bitter vegetable. It's just that it tastes undesirable though it benefits us in the long run.

One of my mentors boldly rebuked me few years ago. This was about my I-am-just-an-ordinary-employee thinking . He woke me up by telling me that I need to grow and think like an executive. He stressed that I need to drop my ranking file-mindset and embrace leadership-mindset because it will affect the way I make decisions. You know, I really sweat a lot upon hearing those piercing truth. I thought I was doing good and I already know everything because I was a supervisor. But then I thought, having a certain title doesn't mean I am already an expert. There are still so much to learn in life and we can't know all things overnight.

I admire people who honestly admit their mistakes and I am happy to be surrounded by them. Those who have built their confidence through pain and struggles are most likely the ones who will encourage us to stand after we fall. They know that we need a hand.

We can't do everything alone. My former professor in Media Management, the late Orly Punzalan, once said that managers do things through other people. True. You'll never be a manager if there's no people under you. And, you wouldn't be an effective leader if you don't manage them or their tasks well. So, live the principle, not the title.

If you really want to learn and grow, master the art of listening first. After all, we are all created as God's workmanship- we are not perfect yet. Let's accept that in this world, we will need a hand- from friends, colleagues, mentors, from those who surround us. And in return, we must be joyful in offering our helping hand to others.

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