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  • Foto del escritorJuanpablo Barrantes

There must be an angel

Actualizado: 4 abr 2020

By Juanpablo Barrantes

Leader’s approach

(5 min read)

“No one on earth could feel like this

I'm thrown and overflown with bliss

There must be an angel

Playing with my heart” —Eurythmics

Just think about how many people you’ve been surrounded so far along your whole life. Going from those you barely know: School, high school and college partners, teachers, work peers and bosses, neighbors, ...getting to those you have a close relationship: one or just a few friends, your mate and your closest family.

Now think about your life and ponder on those few significant and defining moments that marked a before and after in your existence, by sculpting the person you are up to now. In each of your life breakthroughs you might relate to someone who believed in you and supported you in such a way that it turned your life into a new level of growth so you can undoubtedly admit you became a better person because of that specific life’s event and by the influence and presence of that one person.

So, to me there’s a good chance of ranging from five up to eight milestones in your whole life.

Consequently, you might also be blessed by getting into a better version of who you are thanks to the aid of few angels dressed as common people whom either you barely or fairly know.

Let me illustrate what I’ve just said by sharing what I consider my most recent breakthrough in life.

Not so long ago, I experienced my biggest challenge as a leader until today. Along two years I struggled in a really difficult work environment where I assumed the responsibility of heading a manufacturing operation including more than 1,500 people and a staff of 10 managers. I succeeded a seasoned Senior leader that used to keep strong and tight controls over his staff while I arrived with a totally different approach of looking for consensus and promoting collaboration. My strategy clearly failed since interactions with my staff went worsening while results kept deteriorating day by day, month by month. Being under such pressure for results unchained stress everywhere, and constant stress derailed health issues and uncertainty in both my body an mind. After the end of the second year I felt like I was just deserving my job termination given such disappointing outcomes.

My boss, the one who had the final word about my future with the Organization decided to grant me a second chance, so I was moved to another location with the same responsibilities and pretty much a similar challenge as the previous one.

After reflecting on why he decided about not letting me go, and again making one more vote of trust on me, I think it certainly was my unruffled determination to not giving up what really convinced him I deserved a second chance.

Today I am thankful of the lessons learned during those hard days, also about the defining moment and the decision my boss made. Certainly, I am a better leader because of those hard learning times, and for sure I wouldn’t be prepared for a new breakthrough without the lessons learned on this previous one.

One of the benefits about having experienced a headway in life happens when you instinctively and unconsciously become an angel to someone next to you. Why? Both our human body and mind work by emotions, and emotions are triggered by chemicals we release depending on the inputs we receive from the environment. The best version of yourself comes up when you show up human generosity: you genuinely give your time and energy to someone else, expecting nothing in return. Oxytocin is the hormone our body releases whenever we experience an act of human generosity, either by giving it, receiving it or even witnessing it. Oxytocin is really good to our body, we feel great whenever kindness is around and inside of us. It boosts our inmune system, and that’s the reason happy people live longer and are healthier than stressed people.

So how often do you show up your angel to those around you? Have you influenced in someone else a breakthrough in their lives? Reframe on these questions and keep encouraging yourself to be the reason someone gets inspired to feel and then spread kindness all around.

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