When I owned a photography business, summer was full of photographing high school seniors. My favorite part of the process was when they stopped in the studio to look at their proofs. I believed that everyone who came in my studio was beautiful and my job was to use my expertise of lighting, composition, and design to capture their beauty thru my lens.
One young lady, as she cradled the proof book in her hands, gave me the greatest compliment I ever received as a photographer, “I didn’t know I was so beautiful.”
I recently wrote job descriptions for people I wanted to hire at Outreach. The thought crossed my mind; what if every job description included the phrase “making people beautiful?”
The ancient story of Esther in the Judeo-Christian heritage takes place in Persia 500 B.C. The king of Persia was looking for a new wife and the yearlong process was akin to a Miss America pageant on steroids. One beautiful woman after another was paraded in front of the king.
Esther had been assigned a bevy of other women and a couple of eunuchs whose simple task was to make her beautiful enough to be chosen the queen. I recently saw a before-and-after photo of woman whose transformation under the careful guidance of cosmetologists was so stunning you wouldn’t have believed it was the same person. She didn’t either.
I believe the role of any good leader is to make the people around them more beautiful. What if we asked ourselves that question each day? How can I make my boss more beautiful? How can I make the people on my team more effective and professional? How can I make the people who are a direct report to me better at what they do? How can I make my customers look really good?
I tell anyone whom I hire that his or her professional development is a priority to me. I want to help the people in my sphere of influence become better at what they do, learn new skill sets, conquer challenges they face, and end each day better off than when they started.
Simply put: I believe it’s my job to make people more beautiful by:
- Teaching them new skills that help them become more efficient
- Encouraging them to take on greater challenges and assignments
- Helping develop their both their strengths and weaknesses
- Rewarding them for accomplishments
- Challenging them to have positive attitudes
- Addressing a concern with dignity and a desire for positive results
- Helping them find solutions to the problems they encounter
- Knowing them well enough to maximize their potential for both their own personal benefit and the benefit of the company
It seems this question could permeate all aspects of our life from the clerk at the grocery store to members of our family and to our neighbors.
So how can I make you more beautiful?