I recently came across the following quote from sociologist and Harvard professor Charles Willie:
“By idolizing those whom we honor we do a disservice both to them and to ourselves. … We fail to recognize the fact that we could go and do likewise.”
Get Rid of the Pedestals
When I first read the quote from Dr. Willie, I immediately connected with the idea because I know it's true. Idolizing or idealizing someone else, while doubting and not challenging myself was the reality early in my career. I think it is for anyone new to our field … or any field, for that matter.
It's easy to see the great work and never the real person. It's easy to assume that the great work came without struggle. And it's easy to believe that the people behind the great work are somehow different and special.
But though it's easy, it's a terrible mindset to have and it can be a roadblock to important connections. So for my March Pastry Box, I discuss how idealizing our colleagues not only hurts us, it hurts them.