Floating Below the Waterline
By Wallace Huey
Many people believe that to be effective you need to be visible. They use comments like “putting your head above the parapet” to illustrate this. Personally I am choosing a different approach. The approach of “floating below the waterline”.
I believe that great leaders are rarely seen or heard in the public media. Now this is extreme, and may not be practical for most, but the principle of the great leader not seeking the limelight holds true. I believe the great leader draws everything he needs to him or herself, through the power inherent in his huge capacity to serve. When a great leader exudes that capacity he/she does not need anything else.
Have you ever noticed how the most heavily advertised and publicized products are usually the ones that are poorest in quality? It’s people who shout the loudest and promise the most who often have the least to offer. It’s worth remembering that the next time you go to buy anything.
I remember a perfect example of this when in Italy 16 years ago. My fiancé and I had just got engaged and decided when on holiday in Italy to shop for my wedding clothes. We were in Cortona, a picturesque Italian hill top town when I was walking past a man’s shoe shop. My eyes lit on a beautiful pair of handmade Italian shoes. I just knew these were the shoes I wanted to get married in.
So my fiancé, Carolyn, and I went inside and were delighted to discover there was a sale on. So I sat down and was helped by the shop assistant to try on the shoes. Now I have fallen arches and unusually shaped feet so I didn’t know what to expect. They fitted like a glove. After a few paces around the shop in their burgundy-colored embossed leather, with a subtle purple shade that could just about be seen in the right light, and with my fiancé nodding approvingly, I was convinced. So I asked the price. They were expensive, so pointing to the sale sign I asked how much they were when the sale discount was applied. The shop assistant said in perfect English, “Sir, Mareshi never need to reduce the price of their shoes.” He went on to explain they were the only shoes in the entire shop to which the sale price did not apply.
I had never heard of this shoe company. I had never seen them advertised. And you know what I did, I bought them anyway. I keep them for special occasions and I still have them to this day. They still fit like a glove and are still in perfect condition.
All that glitters is not gold.
I made that purchase because of all the love, care and attention to detail that had gone into those shoes and that is why they still serve me to this day. And it is the same approach that Peter, Aidan and I have sought to bring to Trans4mind and it is why today we describe it as a university of personal development. And that is also why, when we demonstrate our service by walking business leaders through their complimentary Life Discovery session, almost every single one has signed up for our training.
They have not seen it advertised, have not heard about it from other people, have not even experienced it as a training product other than the Life Discovery, and yet they are willing to step forward and commit significant sums of money to engage with it.
And in addition we are now attracting high quality business coaches, people who have held highly responsible positions in industry, and who are in need of extra work, to enthusiastically step forward to offer to deliver the training for us.
That’s the power of service, when intelligently and persistently applied over many years.
At one point in our project’s development we shared it (privately) with one of the investors from the Irish Dragon’s Den (known as Shark Tank in the USA) and he told me that it would never work, because it was simply not possible to market and sell personal development and make money.
In the last two months, without asking, I have had two people express an interest in joining our existing investor team, such is their belief in the project.
Offering yourself in service, with a motive of love for 21 years, may be too much of a commitment for most. But you can always offer yourself in service in a smaller or simpler way. Every act of caring or kindness acts equally - it's the path of love. The world has many unmet needs all clamoring for attention. Local schools or homes for the elderly are examples of fertile places where anyone can start a life of service. You could choose to adopt an unmet need in any one of them and make it your own. Great things are always built from small beginnings.
Especially if you are floating below the waterline.
Until we meet again...