Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are. ~ Jose Ortega y Gasset
Health experts suggest that we should make a point to 'shop the perimeter' first while grocery shopping. The perimeter of the grocery store is typically where you will find the freshest fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, dairy, and liquids. The closer to the center of the store you patron, the more likely you are to find processed, prepackaged, and canned foods. From a leadership perspective, I am starting to realize that the same perimeter philosophy about food also holds true when talking about human beings.
We have never been apologists for convenience when it comes to people and relationships. Just like our food, we would prefer that we have to do as little as possible in terms of preparation but still expect the maximum return. We lose patience with those that are not as polished as we need them to be. We forget that we too were once 'perimeter professionals' and that although we were rough, unpolished, slightly less attractive to the eye, and not yet perfectly packaged, we were also the freshest, most unique, most innovative, most daring, and truly the best for our company (both personally and professionally).
My challenge to you this week is to shop the perimeter. Not just for food but for people. Take a second look at those who currently work or are looking for positions where you most certainly used to be. Be mindful of how your accumulation of degrees, awards, promotions, and bonuses may have pushed you away from the freshness of the perimeter to the dullness of the center. Let me be the first to remind you that for every 'perimeter professional' you ignore for sake of convenience, the mindful shopper can easily spot an unhealthy 'processed professional' and 'canned consultant'. Take a look in the mirror and ask yourself which you one you see.
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