The person next to Paul smiled broadly and as said her name she extended her hand. “I own a real estate company,” she said. “And what do you do?” Paul felt his throat constrict as he drew a quick breath.
“I’m….” He hesitated. “I work for a manufacturing firm.” She continued, “I’m really looking forward to the speaker tonight, aren’t you?” Paul nodded, feeling slightly disoriented as he excused himself and looked for a table in the back of the room.
As Paul’s mentor, I’d challenged him to go to the event and meet people just like he normally would do, only this time I challenged him to not reveal any credentials such as being a chief executive officer, company president or the like.
Paul had remarkable success in his industry and had become quite recognizable within his normal circles. He had come to chat with me because he was wise enough to understand that he was (at least secretly) struggling with the realization that he couldn’t be at the helm of the company forever. Letting the succession of power unfold wasn’t as easy as he thought it was going to be.
Remember this truth about conscious leadership:
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