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Mirror Mirror

“Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”

  • The Evil Queen Grimhilde in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 1937, Walt Disney Company


In Snow White, the Evil Queen is constantly consulting her magic mirror, who was the fairest of all, usually in some rhyming literary fashion.  The mirror, it seems, has some sort of entrapped spirit that was always compelled to answer that the Queen, regardless of how “un-fair” the Queen was, was the fairest.

Unfortunately, honesty eventually won the day, and the entrapped spirit answered that Snow White was the fairest, which ended in the destruction of both the mirror and the spirit.

Mirrors in Business

Business leaders and entrepreneurs need to take a cue from Evil Queen Grimhilde and buy a mirror.

Not a magic mirror, but a mirror where they can accurately see their reflection.

Mirrors show people for what they truly are in an undistorted, straightforward way.

Not many leaders like this concept and, more often, may be afraid of what they may see in their reflection.  The reality is there is no harder person to face than ourselves.

The mirror suggested is primarily metaphorical.

All business leaders and entrepreneurs need the ability to see their “real” self, whether through a trusted advisor or a personal practice that highlights personal deficiencies. 

Here are some thoughts you might focus on.

  1. How you manage.  Your job is no longer to manage (or, worse, micromanage). Your job is to lead — and show employees the way.  If you find yourself frustrated with your employees, start by looking at yourself.  Consider how you are failing to lead them.  There should be a reason they are working for you rather than owning their own business.
  2. How you look. You can’t expect employees to dress well, comb their hair, and smell good if you are a mess yourself. And no matter what business you’re in or how good you think you look, there is always room for improvement.
  3. How you speak. If you’re meek and never speak up, or you are a loudmouth who is crass and bullies people into getting what you want, it’s time to face it and improve your verbal style. Your communication style can make or break your ability to lead employees and gain clients or customers.
  4. How you work. If your business has been suffering lately or you haven’t been able to grow your enterprise the way you want, a long, hard look in the mirror is just the thing to move things along.

Your ideas might have been effective and taken your enterprise this far, but just because something worked before doesn’t mean it’s good for your business now.

First, acknowledge your way might not be the best and that you don’t have all the answers.  Then, be open to finding new, more effective ways to do things.  Perhaps your employees have ideas that you’ve ignored or failed to solicit.  Don’t let your ego prevent your business from thriving.

The Bible

James 1:22-26 says,

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.  23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror.  24 For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.  25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”

The primary purpose of God’s Word is to give us true self-knowledge – a mirror such that when we look at ourselves properly, we see ourselves as God wants us to see ourselves.  The purpose of God’s revelation is for us to transform and become the people God wants us to be, but this is impossible until we see ourselves as we really are.

Business leaders and entrepreneurs must learn not only to look at themselves in a mirror but also to see themselves as they really are and envision how that reflection can be transformed into a better leader and person.