We often go through life, be it personally or professionally, with advantages over others given our ferocious appetite for work, or our innate ability to have extreme self-awareness in knowing and understanding people, or high levels of relational communicative skills, that can make way for undeniable success. The work harder, work longer, work smarter, not just work smarter, philosophy can create many opportunities for those willing to take them. But what we often forget, is that we got our start, or were given a tremendous foundation to achieve greatness, because we are standing on the shoulders of giants before us, that allowed us to springboard ahead to get more wins.
The picture shown is the famous 5th Solvay International Conference, held in Brussels, Belgium in October of 1927. Where the likes of Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr were in attendance to discuss the newly formulated quantum theory. The most notable aspect was that of the 29 attendees, 17 of them were already or would go on to become Nobel Peace Prize winners. Now how unbelievable is that!? A conference of physics and chemist giants that help propel our world forward at that time in the world of physics, the theory of relativity, the Bohr model, but more importantly, the promotion of scientific research, that has helped us in world advancement, peace, and prosperity. These folks were the Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerbergs of their great generation! They were giants of their time, and many many people later stood on their shoulders of great advancements to achieve greater advancements in science and research. But without that October day in 1927, it begs the question, where would they be, or where would they have gotten without standing on the shoulders of those 29 Solvay Conference attendees? Where would we be without those people?
Now, we can’t linger on that question, because it accomplishes us nothing, but what we can do, is be greatly and thankful for those that stood before us accomplishing massive works pressing through extreme challenges we have never seen nor experienced, so that we may “see further than they did”. So that we may also and have the insatiable desire to press forward as they did to allow others to see further than we have seen. For each of us, we have stood on the shoulders of our parents, our teachers and coaches, those we have worked for, those who have helped us with our struggles, and our leaders and mentors, of which has allowed us to go on and do build great familiies, contribute to our local communities through our civic duties, help people in need, volunteer time for our youth, help sustain and grow charitable organizations, or build businesses. And as said, we look to continue to do so, so that those coming after us can stand on our shoulders so that “they may see further than we have”. The key being, if you aren’t standing on the shoulders of your giants and contributing, it’s time to step up your game. Those giants before you didn’t grow their shoulders with a physical strength and and a mental toughness to withstand your dead weight for you to not do the same, or push the “stop” button, and not achieve more! In fact, those giants before you did what they did, just for you, to help give you the longer vision of time, a headstart, and a giant leap forward to help you be a tremendously positive influence on the world today! And as of right now, we need all of you that you can give! Our world needs all of you to be a giant, and provide those big shoulders for greater long vision of time for those who will be standing on your shoulders! Happy Leadership Thusday!! Cheers to the Giants we have been privileged to stand on!