You may have been told to learn to play “nice” in the Sandbox. To “play nice,” is just another way of saying to pretend to be nice, or to use socially accepted cultural customs.

If you have to “play” nice, are you in the sandbox with the right people? Probably not! If we step into a sandbox, we should expect to treat others as we would want to be treated, and we should act from that place — from our hearts. If there is someone in the sandbox who does not also act with kindness and without judgment, perhaps they need more love or understanding.

Alternatively, perhaps we need to find another sandbox.

A long time ago, I worked for a large ad agency, one of 350 in Atlanta, all headed by men. It did not take long to realize that I was doing more and earning less. In frustration, I went to the Executive Vice President to ask for his support in advancing new programs for clients and acquiring new clients. His reply was stunning: “Well, your boss has been here longer, so maybe you should look for a new job.”

I did. I made the decision to launch out on my own — at the age of 25! My expulsion from the ‘sandbox’ opened exciting new worlds for me. Many people rushed to support me, including all the heads of all the departments within the agency, even people in the agency who had not been friendly when I arrived. I had individuals who found out that I was striking out on my own, who went out of their way to be supportive…including delivering my first PR client… the Outdoor Association Convention (OAAA) where I worked directly with Ted Turner.

So I guess I would conclude that following your own heart may allow you to have your own sandbox and invite other like-minded and like-hearted people to come and play in your sandbox. And, it could be said that people who act from their hearts are leading by example.


About Your Columnist

Pat Lynch is a featured columnist for Women Lead, the official blog of Connected Women of Influence. She is a serial entrepreneur and was the first woman to begin a marketing agency alone in the South, at the age of 25. In 1996, she began WomensRadio(R) and in 1998, it became the first streaming site for women. Her company began AudioAcrobat(R), one of the first streaming tools, in 2004. Recently she helped to launch, streaming and teaching wealth-building. Coming next: an all-new and!


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