He walked with a slight limp, carrying the authority his job title reflected. A gentle man with great knowledge of the business’ operations, he consistently displayed genuine concern for this people. I was a Management Cadet in my first year with the company, fresh out of university, and respected this man as my boss.

Move forward 10 years and this same man is sitting in the foyer of my new employer. I see him in a new light. He is the same man – the limp, the people focus, the skills – yet, here he is, an unemployed mid-level executive. The confidence I once assumed was an inherent part of his nature, is gone. He is in the office to explore career opportunities with me, in my new career as a Recruitment Consultant.

This took place about a decade ago yet the image of him sitting in the foyer remains crystal clear.

Perspective is a tricky beast. A situation, a person, can be viewed from different perspectives. The situation or the person does not necessarily alter, but the vantage point from which we view does. In my case, I was once the inexperienced subordinate, later becoming the professional upon whom this man was relying upon. The experience I admired now compared less favourably to his peers. The qualifications I once thought impressive were now mostly irrelevant.

What didn’t change was the man. Sure, he was in a different season, but he was still the same person who mentored, encouraged and guided me. What I learnt that day, was to always to value the person. Whilst different perspectives may deliver greater insights, they should also provide greater understanding.

Let Hope Rise

Image credit: nexusplexus / 123RF Stock Photo

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