Brian and his mentee Jerome went on their monthly hike trail which at its end, overlooks their city. While relaxing on a boulder at the end of their hike, taking in the great view, Brian saw something on the ground that could be a great learning experience. The thing was close to the edge of the cliff though.

“I want to see how well you can see” Brian interrupted the silence.

“Ok” Jerome quickly replied…thinking he knew where the conversation was headed.

“Walk with me closer to the edge of the cliff without taking your eyes off of the city while you tell me what you see.”

They’ve done this ‘what do you see’ exercise before and Jerome trusts Brian enough that he wouldn’t let him fall off the edge, so he locked his eyes on the city as they walked towards the edge.

Jerome spouted out the demographics of the city and which group is forecast to grow most. He regurgitated the real estate opportunities based on age groups; he recognized social trends and where his talents can bring a service to help those who appreciate those trends. He mentioned the municipality’s potential for luring big corporations. Jerome went on and on, until he felt Brian place his hand on his chest which stopped him in his tracks.

Jerome finished up what he was saying, shook his head out of his trance, and turned his head to look at Brian, only to notice him pointing down at his feet. His head slowly followed the direction of the point.

They were both standing in a pile of shit!

In a deliberate tone, Brian says, “Watch where you’re walking, even if you’re following a person you respect and is where you’d like to be. A man can ONLY stand on his integrity not someone else’s. Know where you’re standing. Recognize the vantage points of personal values.”

There was a still pause.

Brian continued, “Do you understand what I’m saying?”

Twisting his mouth to the side as he does when he’s thinking about something, Jerome nodded carefully. Then said,

“I understand that you got me standing in a pile of dog shit!”

Jerome pretended to shove Brian over the edge and then chased him all the way back to the car.

What did you get from this story?

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