It’s amazing to me how far our world has come, yet how similar our behaviors are to those societies from hundreds of years ago. In fact, in business our behaviors haven’t changed much at all. People with “lesser power” still bow down to “royalty” in fear of consequence or simply because “that’s just how it is”. In many ways, working in some business cultures is comparable to the medieval period–walking into the office at 8:00 a.m. feels like a Game of Thrones realty TV series.
Why is it that people are still okay relinquishing their personal power to those wearing crowns? Why are people okay with sacrificing who and what they are for the benefit of a few people on top who happen to wear purple? In the medieval period, if a peasant didn’t succumb to the powers of the King it was off with their head! Giving up your right to self due to the the physical reality of death was commonplace. That said, the last time I checked the use of a guillotine wasn’t allowed in Corporate America–although you wouldn’t know it from the way some people walk around in fear.
The biggest difference between business cultures today and medieval times is that we are safe–safe from physical harm. Are you walking around in fear of the imaginary guillotine in the CEOs office? Or, are you a modern-day Robin Hood, a maverick and heroic outlaw? It’s time we actually put the medieval period behind us and choose to walk free. A freedom that only comes when you choose to stop relinquishing your self to the powers that be.
Here are 7-Ways to live like Robin Hood and walk forward free:
- Start moving: If someone is treating you poorly and not respecting you as a human being, don’t complain or play the woe is me game; rather, take responsibility and change what you don’t believe is right. This requires action and effort on your part. No one said change was easy, and responsibility always comes in the form of movement. Verbally stand your ground, and take the necessary steps to stop playing the victim and start taking responsibility for your life.
- Be a heroic outlaw: Seize the opportunity to be a modern-day hero. Rather than sitting back and watching someone else being treated with disrespect stand up for them. Defend the stranger sitting next to you on the bus, the friend next door, your team, or your virtual colleague living thousands of miles away who’s not there to defend themselves. Don’t let someone else be thrown under the bus when it’s your voice that can save them.
- Know you are safe from physical harm: Know that if you speak up, stand out and walk forward as a maverick you are safe. The CEO doesn’t have a guillotine in his or her office. You will not be hurt for standing up for yourself. What’s the worse that could happen? Could you get fired? Sure. Who cares? Get another job, go back to school, or take a much needed break to get yourself into a business culture that’s healthy. That said, the reality is that most people who speak up (respectfully) are respected more, receive more opportunities and have a better chance at creating a work-life that makes them happy.
- Get clear on what you want: Sit down and make a list of what you want from your career and your life. It’s amazing to me how many people who have not taken the time to list out what they want. Don’t get hung up on details; you can make it broad. Robin Hood, may have said, “I want to help take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves.” When you get clear on what you want it’s impossible for action not to follow.
- Get some merry men: Here’s the deal: everything is always easier when you’re not trying to do it alone. Community is critical for our psyche. You are more courageous, more apt to overcome challenges, and will reach your goals with greater success when you have some merry men supporting you. Start building your team of modern-day mavericks. Remember, like attracts like. Surround yourself with those who want to live like Robin Hood, and watch your personal power grow.
- Find the joy in what you do: Stand up for yourself and take your power back, but don’t get too serious. If there’s one thing for sure, Robin Hood had a good time living out his life on his own terms and in his own way, but laughter, play and good friends were always among the adventures and hard work.
- Don’t be fooled by fake jewels: The only real jewels are inside you. The only place to find the authenticity you’re looking for is right in the mirror. Throughout your life you will constantly be approached by people holding fake diamonds. They’ll say, “Give me your power and I’ll give you more money, status, and material items. Give up who you are, and who you want to be, and I’ll turn you into exactly what society says you’re suppose to accomplish and become.” Don’t be fooled, no one has ever attained true happiness by wearing fake jewels.
Gina Soleil, is a speaker and acclaimed author of Fuel Your Business: How to energize people, ignite action and drive profit. She blogs and speaks about how to create a business where people are energized, feel good and are happy. Visit Gina Soleil and follow her on Twitter.