There is a man in the world who never gets turned down
Wherever he chances to stray;
He gets the glad hand in the populous town,
Or where the farmers make the hay;
He is greeted with pleasure on deserts of sand
And deep in the aisle of the woods;
Wherever he goes there is a welcoming hand --
He’s the man who delivers the goods.
If our parents’ generation spent their years with their heads down reporting to the same job for 50 years until they got their golden retirement watch, then our generation is spending those same 50 years dreaming, planning and following our bliss. And it’s got to stop.
Nearly every interview we’ve conducted over the past three or four years finds the interviewee declaring something along the lines of “I’m a good ________ (fill in the blank with whatever skill you can imagine, from designing to coding), but what I’d really like to do is direct a team of ____________-ers. I believe I’m a great manager.”
The fact is, you have to earn the right to lead a team. I know that’s a harsh reality for our workforce today, but it is the truth. John Maxwell often says that many admirers come to him after a speech and say that they want to do what he does. He invariably responds, “Of course you do. But are you willing to do what I did?”
There is a great temptation to focus on our dreams for someday, while shirking the responsibilities of today. “I’m working as a barista, but someday I’m going to be a ________.” Awesome! Go for it! But be the best barista you can be in the interim. Work your way up the ladder and don’t expect to get placed on the top rung. Find the satisfaction in starting where you are. Create meaning in your work, and do it well.
Politicians tend to do the same thing, by the way. “If I were president, I would pass legislation to….” Yes. All very well and good. What are you doing now, as a senator, a governor, or city council member?
In business, politics and life, the answer is fairly simple. Serve people where you are, and do good things. If we turn our eyes outward to the people who are impacted by our lives and seek to make their lives a little bit better, we can create stronger communities. We can have real conversations. When hard decisions need to be made, the stockpile of experiences we compile by working in the community day after day provide a fount of knowledge and wisdom. Work is required to develop real knowledge.
Ironically, by doing the work in front of us right now, we reach our dreams a little bit faster.
If you want to change our country, the answer is simple: serve people and do good things.
This blog post is part of a series from Republican Coffee on the core values of the Republican. Want to know what the other core values are? Check out our Republican Declaration here.