Shine a bit of indirect light


We should all lift our eyes and look out for each other, have empathy and pause to lift others – bring them with us when we’re able.

It is not only good ethics and the right thing to do. It’s good business sense, to secure your supply chain and help your customers – so they remain yours.

Moonlit night with clouds

Everything and everybody looks better, brighter – more beautiful on a sunny day.

When dark. A bit of moonlight, a fireplace or a simple lamp, will make every room and space look warm and welcoming. Especially when the corners are lit up.

Be that indirect light to others. Those in the shadow, stuck or hiding in dark corners.

When you’re in the sun – let it reflect on others.

Indirect ?

Because it’s about them – not you. If you have enough. Then you don’t need the attention in that moment.

And they don’t need to know the source of the light – they don’t need the extra burden of feeling they owe something in return. They have enough on their shoulders.

Light their path

Be part of lifting people around you. Your family, friends, fellow colleagues and all those you’re just about to meet.

Often we resort to finger pointing, and shaming people who are not keeping up to our standards – even those standards doesn’t apply to them. We look at the work of others – not fully understanding the importance of their contribution.

Even within the same team. It can be difficult to appreciate the working styles, moods, quirks, strengths and values of the individuals. It takes effort, same as it does in any relationship and group. 

We need to take a breath. Observe and learn from others, ask questions around what they do and why. Ask them to teach us new ways, value senior employees and new ideas from fresh hires alike.

We don’t need to agree with what others are doing to support them. To shine a light in front of them.

Remember. It is the good we do when nobody is watching that truly matters.

High performers need it too

We also need to shine a light on high performing individuals, or rather peak performers as they most often are.

They run point on landing big deals and big customers. Clearing the sales sheet during high season, solve critical and emergency issues. They enable a number of people in the back office, in production and customer service … to have steady jobs. It can be a stressful, and often lonely place to be. In front, being the high performer.

The common misperception is. That high performers either are – or should be, these hardened people who needs no support, care or recognition. Because they are already “winners” and paid enough that it shouldn’t matter.

Some do feel the distancing from other. They put on their armour – the same armour they wear when they go to battle on big deals. And they keep others at an arms length as a defence. 

But they are very much human, and they need to belong – maybe a bit more than others, due to their lone wolf existence. 

If you are in a role that requires peak performance, or periods with high stress. Even you thrive in that role and enjoy it. It’s important to recognise your need for support. It’s ok to feel like you need a hug – and ask for it.

So they can shine on those who lifted them

In the same way. Peak performers needs remember, to shine some light on the support team that takes over from them. That keeps the customer happy until next time, next season. So when it’s their turn, to again go in and deliver significant results. The doors are still open.

The team that cleans up after them. Cause sometimes there is a bit of debris after a big deal is landed, or the temporary emergency fix causes extra work and cost. And some care and attention from customer service is needed. Maybe things were promised, that are difficult to deliver. But it’s what gets the next deal, and the next.

Ensure they know how their efforts helped you in those moments. That it is their consistent long term care and attention – the everyday cores they deliver. That makes up the foundation you can set off from as a team.

CEO’s crying in the bathroom

Some have seen hardboiled, seasoned and battle tested CEO’s and Senior Exec’s literally fall apart after long periods of stress. Or at the very least be in need of a couple of drinks.

Either because they didn’t succeed – or because they did! Months of pressure suddenly removed – and instantly replaced with more.


I have seen a CEO standing, forehead against the wall in the mens room. Soaked in cold sweat and literally shaking after a board meeting. Having secured a major deal. Guaranteeing 200+ jobs for 4 years.

2 years of build up stress – released in 5 minutes.

Any pressure creates an equal and opposite pressure. Many of the people we see in high visibility jobs, those we believe “should be able to handle it”. They too need to feel, and be reminded, that they belong.

The shadow is a bully

Being out of the light. Can feel just as bad as being pointed fingers at. You can feel forgotten, singled out, isolated, alone.

Over time, some begin to believe they belong out of sight, that they somehow don’t deserve recognition and help. They may not even register when things are ok – the better days.

Very few experience only bad days, but if you have enough of them – and you don’t feel included, or part of something meaningful. Then the bad days casts a long shadow, even great days can manifest themselves as dark.

Perception is reality.

It affects wellbeing, mental health, individual participation and contribution. It can quickly become a downward spiral if we don’t look out for each other.

May you never experience a single day of loneliness in your life.

It’s not a spectacle 

Don’t resort to staged shout outs, and calling out people to hail their contributions in town halls and team meetings, only.

There is surely a place for it. But it is the in-the-moment recognition and appreciation that matters.

Simply paying attention to people around us. Spending a little time noticing what they do, how they feel. Asking questions and showing thoughtful interest – is far more important than praise.

Let people go home knowing they exist and matter. Again – it’s about them, not you.

Feel good about it

Helping others, is about them becoming better and successful.

Again – ‘indirect’ is a great way to go. Push help and resources their way, entice others to get involved. Spread your teams story throughout the organisation.

Don’t spend your time detailing, to your team and people you are responsible for, all that you do to pave the road ahead and remove obstacles for them.

It’s what you naturally do. Not because it is in your job description. You do it because you want to see others succeed.

In return – their light reflects back on you.

Being the light has its own shine to it. And you too should celebrate. All that you have achieved – and all those you lifted.

Shine a bit of indirect light. There’s beauty in the shadows.

moonlight has a special beauty to it.
you can spend hours looking at the moon. The sun will blind you in seconds.

Photo by Vedad Colic