Scott’s Thoughts: Mind the Thunder

“Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”

Jalal ad-Din Rumi (1207-1273); Persian poet, mystic

Image of lightning.What does it mean to “raise your words” and not your voice?

If we consider the second half of this Rumi quote, it would suggest the word “raise” is missing the letter “p” before it, signaling the value of praise above criticism. Yet it could also mean that when we are not heard, it’s important that we elevate our appeal through intellect rather than the bluster of emotion. Or that we adopt the coolly detached eye of a leader. It also brings to mind one of the challenges of a leadership position.

An intellectual approach isn’t always welcome, though it may be the vastly preferable path. Leadership roles often require learning a difficult lesson: We cannot necessarily lead people and be their friends at the same time. The loyalty of friends and the tough decisions leadership require are not always mutually compatible.

The same is true of the agent/client relationship, too. Times come now and again when we must draw boundaries, proffer potentially unpopular advice, and even take the initiative when a professional relationship isn’t working out. It is especially true in these situations that we elevate our intellect and absent all “thunder” from our perspective.

While our words may be unwelcome in the moment, there’s no sense in allowing negative emotions to run amok. A hard, true lesson will generally end with respect in the long term. Lose your cool, and you could very well end up with an enemy.

Mind the thunder out there this week. You’ve got a garden of clients to grow.

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