As I watched my daughter ‘graduate’ from first grade last week, I was amazed by a number of things –
1) despite trying to ignore the cliché, time really does fly and just like that, my daughter is going to be in the 2nd grade
2) the genuine love that the teachers and the students have for each other was palpable
3) each of the children is so different, and while all there for the same thing, the teacher had to find how each student learns and adapt accordingly
4) a simple mantra that might have been over some of the students’ heads, but it wasn’t over mine – “Quite Giants”
The teacher talked about “Quite Giants” – those who can do anything they put their mind to, but don’t beat their chest and brag and boast and say look at me. They quietly go about their business and accomplish deeds of giant proportion.
Quiet Giants. I love it.
I don’t know about you, but I have met my fair share of people who yearn for the spotlight, who want everyone to know that they’re the smartest person in the room, that they deserve all the credit, etc, etc. Regardless of the work they do. That is way overshadowed by the need to say, ‘look at me’ in all situations.
Then, there are those who plug away each day, focus on the challenge that is right in front of them, get resourceful, make things happen, and could ultimately care less about whether or not everyone knows or sees what they did.
I am not talking about wallflowers. You have to be active, you have to be communicative, you have to make an active contribution to the team. I’m talking about people focused on the right things – giving it their all, addressing what they’re dealt, and coming out with the best work product. Not with the best me product.
When building or leading or working on a team, my experience has been that these Quiet Giants are the X factor. They need to be active participants and need to compliment each other so that when the spotlight is shining, someone (or ones) can step in. Or speak up. Or lead.
In the end though, it’s the giant work and giant contribution that speaks louder than any words can.