I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to have an excellent career environment. No matter how many hypotheses I come up with, all paths lead to sunlight. Sunlight is very different than spotlights.
Sunlight is nurturing, warm, and nutrient-rich. It is much more than light. When the sun is shining, many things benefit – people, plants, and much of the life we have created here on earth. It is that way at work, too. When a career environment produces nurturing, warm, nutrient-rich sunlight, everyone benefits – the employees, the customers, the physical location, the operations, you name it.
When the sun is shining, as you are driving past a sunflower field, you can clearly see each sunflower attempting to grab a piece of the sun. And, amazingly, each gets just the sun it needs, provided it is not planted under a tree or out of the view of the sun. There is always enough sun to go around.
Spotlights are bright, but not necessarily nurturing. They can be warm – but they can be so warm, they become uncomfortable. Spotlights are great for the audience, as they show the audience where to focus. But spotlights are ostracizing – spotlights intentionally cast light on one person or thing, while simultaneously casting everything nearby into total darkness.
Sunlight encourages achievement and growth, while spotlights demand performance and encourage scrutiny. The light from the sun is essential to the formation and sustenance of life. The light from a spotlight is temporary, and changes often.
In career and in life, is it better to seek sunlight, or spotlight?