During my usual Friday meeting with my newest sales rep, we got to talking about the bigger picture.
Being the end of the sales month, we’d usually be spending our time working on last minute deals to try and get those last dollars in before the close.
Today we talked about life. And higher-level aspirations. And about the things that matter to us.
In a moment of levity, he asked how I was doing in the transition to management. I was honest.
I told him how when this process started, I didn’t know what I was doing. I told him I was given a mission that I was unsure I was going to be able to carry out. I told him I knew where I wanted to go, but couldn’t ultimately tell whether what I was doing was right or not.
And he told me a parable.
He told me a story of a little boy who is lost in a dark forest. He knows he needs to get to the other wise, but it’s dark and he can’t see how to get there. The spirit of the forest takes pity on the little boy and tells asks him if he needs help. He exclaims, “Yes! I am trying to get the other side, but I can’t see the way.”
The spirit of the forest responds, “Can you see your next step?”
The little boy responds, “Yes, I can see that far.”
The forest then replies, “Then take the next step. Look again, and then take the next one.”
“If you keep doing that, you’ll be out of the dark forest in no time.”
Today I’m one of those managers that learned something special from one of his people.