In a fascinating recent interview, the presidents of Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology described themselves and their world-class universities as “elevators of opportunity.”
Merriam-Webster’s 11th Collegiate Dictionary defines the word ‘elevator’ as follows: “One that raises or lifts something up; an endless belt or chain conveyor with cleats, scoops, or buckets for raising material; a cage or platform and its hoisting machinery for conveying people or things to different levels.”
Are you an elevator of opportunity? Are you a person, a team member, a colleague, a friend, a family member, a center of influence, a leader… who lifts people up? Are you an endless conveyor for moving and raising people up? Are you a platform for conveying people to higher personal and professional levels?
Do you uplift, advance, promote, improve, encourage and inspire each and every person in all of your personal and professional relationships? Or do you sometimes cut down, deflate, depress, demote, downgrade, lower, reduce and degrade people?
Before you quickly put yourself in the “always uplift, encourage and inspire” category, spend a little time examining the results and impact of all your personal and professional relationships. Also, ask for a perspective from people who will be totally honest with you.
No one is always in the “always uplift, encourage and inspire” category… including yours truly for sure! We would all do well to carefully examine, from time to time, our lives and our personal and professional impact and relationships from the perspective of these two very important questions:
Am I an elevator of opportunity?
How can I be a more effective elevator of opportunity?
Like the grain elevators on the plains of Nebraska where I grew up, stand tall, be strong, be dependable, and be uplifting in your impact on your environment. Like the grain elevators in Nebraska, Kansas and elsewhere… protect, store and be ready to dispense life-sustaining grains… uplifting grains of advancement, encouragement, improvement and inspiration.
Be an Elevator of Opportunity.