Everyone has heard the story of Cinderella, the orphaned girl who was sold into slavery by her evil stepmother and then turned into a princess:
At the wife-selection ball, potential princess candidates vied for the prince’s favor and the chance to become the princess.
Cinderella was not allowed to leave because the evil stepmother, who was only becoming worse, feared she would compete with her daughters.
She created a fantasy situation so that Cinderella might attend this desired occasion, replete with the famed glass shoes when all appeared lost with her dress torn and her carriage missing.
In order to get home by the last chime of midnight, she had to meet the criterion that she be in good condition. Following her success in winning the prince’s heart, Cinderella found herself running after the midnight bells.
She was walking down the palace steps when she dropped a shoe, but she kept going so that no one would see her when she turned back into the little slave girl.
Using the girl’s mysteriously vanished glass shoe as a barometer for his future princess, the Prince, in his despair, began a protracted kingdom-wide search to find the ballroom cutie who had grabbed his attention.
The stepmother revealed that Cinderella was the enigmatical ballgirl. To make one of her children a princess, the stepmother began making plans.
When the prince arrived at their home, she locked Cinderella up in the attic and instructed the stepsisters to use all necessary measures to make Cinderella fit into the shoe.
The stepsisters pushed, shoved, and struggled to walk in the painful shoe because it was the only requirement for being upgraded to the princess.
One of the sisters even had her toes severed in an early telling of the story so she could fit in the shoe! All of a sudden, Cinderella needed saving once more.
This time, she had the support of her trusty advisors, her band of good-natured forest creatures, and her talking mouse tribe.
She dashed down the stairs at top speed, slid her foot effortlessly into the glass shoe, and rushed back up the stairs to seize the prince before his carriage left.
She received the title of a princess since she met the requirements, was the correct size, and qualified. Because of the shoe fit, she went on to have a happy life.
Shoe-fitting competitions for leadership.
When conveying promotions, leaders commonly make the same mistake as the Cinderella story’s stepmother and stepsisters.
If you know a promotion is coming up and decide you really, really want it, you’ll do whatever it takes, no matter the cost, to acquire it.
There is a propensity to become engrossed in the pursuit of success and to focus on the climb to the top. Even if you have a nagging hunch that the new job won’t be a good fit for you or that the time might not be perfect, you push, strive, and fight to show that you can make it work.
You cut off your toes to make the shoe fit. However, it won’t take long for you to start stumbling around and trying to fit into a position that is clearly not appropriate.
When you wear shoes that are the wrong size, your feet suffer (women may have more experience with this than men, but trust me, ill-fitting shoes are incredibly painful).
You are forced to remove the painful shoe, wash your feet, and get ready for the following day. Working a job that doesn’t suit you well makes you miserable and makes it challenging for you to conduct your job successfully.
Workplace stress starts to affect personal life, which only makes matters worse. When you go home, you take off your suit, unwind on the couch, and go to bed.
You don’t spend a lot of time with your family because you are so worn out but still have to get up and do it all over again the next day. You and your family are both miserable.
Put on the shoe if it fits –
More importantly than waiting till something fits, one must have the fortitude to reject it if it doesn’t. If the criteria or the time aren’t right for you, don’t try to force yourself into a work that isn’t right for you. The consequence will only make you miserable.
No amount of blisters on your heels or bunched-up or, worse, severed toes will make you live happily ever after.
Stay away from becoming the Stepsisters of Evil –
Do not let your evil, austere stepmother, who constantly advises you to give up your happiness in order to fit in, dictate your life. Do not get involved in the conflict. You’re under no obligation to take this route in order to live happily ever after.
Learn how to find YOUR happily ever after –
Bring forth your inner Cinderella! (Or Cinderella.) You may take a number of leadership lessons from Cinderella’s excellent characteristics and circumstances that allowed her to live happily ever after:
Trust-based relationships –
She had a tribe of trustworthy advisors who could help her analyze her options, be ready, serve as an example for her, provide support while she was traveling, and be in the right location at the right time to find her match.
A fairy godmother –
An intelligent defender who defended Cinderella. She got advice from the fairy godmother, who also assisted her in understanding her capabilities and seeing the way ahead of her. The fairy godmother and a professional leadership coach have a lot in common, in my opinion.
The practice of self-care –
Although it may be difficult to believe, even Cinderella had the time to take care of herself. She may approach self-care in a little bit of a different way than you, but she still finds comfort in her relationships, in the beauty of the world around her, and in her singing. If she succeeds, then so can you!
Kindness and Courage –
Even in the worst of circumstances, Cinderella emanated appreciation, charity, and humility. Her mother’s parting advice in the most current live-action movie was to “Have bravery and be sympathetic.” The fairy godmother showed up there to help Cinderella since she made the decision to live that way.
Our generation has the power to alter the history of leadership that has been handed down through the years. It is possible for us to rewire our brains in order to develop a new narrative that places a premium on authenticity, modesty, and self-care. While waiting for an opportunity, be aware of who you are and embrace where you are.
You’ll have a happily ever after only then. Afterward, the shoe will only fit correctly.