On the shoulders of Big Friendly Giants in the workplace

Giants in the Workplace CSC Blogs

We all stand on the shoulders of giants, people who have led the way in our industry and workplace.

(A wise Big Friendly Giant told me this recently. I told him that was a lovely title for a blog and he agreed, so here it goes.)

These humble and compassionate leaders help others shine and become leaders in their own right. And I think it’s our duty — and honor — to encourage the next generation of giants with the guidance of BFGs.

I have known many Big Friendly Giants over the years, both in my personal and professional life. No matter their language or place of origin, they tend to be silent, steady types who can steer those of us with overflowing energy in the right direction. These are valuable friendship to form in business. They can give you a shoulder to stand on to elevate your passion and enthusiasm or a shoulder to lean on when the going gets tough.

What makes a Big Friendly Giant? They might seem tall and imposing with booming voices or fierce exteriors in the workplace, but if you take the time to get to know them, you find they’re not so scary at all (says the 5’4” young lady). They command a presence in the room because they have a wealth of knowledge and much to teach the rest of us.

Who are they?

  • The great silent leaders of our organizations who support others and encourage those who do not have the confidence to sound their views.
  • The sounding boards who listen, add to and inspire us all to learn more.
  • The mentors who blow “bottled dreams” into the minds of the next generation and help protect us from some people who, in the words of Roald Dahl’s BFG “eat humans, mostly children.”
  • The well connected and networked colleagues who are willing to share connections with others. The literary BFG had connections with The Queen, The Sultan of Baghdad and the Head of the British Army and the Marshal of the Royal Air Force.
  • The good at heart who hates evil and those who do or act in an evil manner.
  • The humble and compassionate employee who may not realize the impact he or she has on others.
  • The gentle critic who can give constructive criticism in a kind manner.

How do they help grow our next generation of leaders?

  • By encouraging collaboration and mentorship
  • Establishing and developing social networks
  • Reaching out to others through social media and forums
  • Breaking down barriers to talk and share stories

We all can help support them in this noble task — and learn something about ourselves along the way.

So look out for your Big Friendly Giant in the workplace, take note of his or her wisdom and embrace the knowledge. You will find they have much to teach us all.

[Top image released by Disney Movies.]

Sarah James was ANZ lead for Authentic Leadership in DXC and an advocate for DXC’s Women in Leadership and STEM. Prior to leaving DXC in September 2017, Sarah founded the Empowering Future Leaders blog and was its primary author. With over 15 years of experience in the world of IT, Sarah’s specialty is spatial information and includes integration on projects as diverse as mapping volcanoes in Hawaii to delivering high-tech police vehicles.


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  1. Ian Sharpe says:

    Love the post Sarah – so important to ‘pay it forward’!

    • geosupergirl says:

      Thank you Ian. You certainly helped to inspire the blog!!! 🙂 Thank you for your help and inspiration.

  2. Patrick Carrasquillo says:

    This is a wonderfully written post, with an insight on the unsung heroes who do it because they genuinely want to see the world a better place. Thank you🙂

  3. Sarah Scott says:

    Fabulous Post Sarah, Thank you for taking the time to write it. I have fond memories of many BFGs on my journey. One in particular from many years ago (who just so happened to be 6ft8in) helped me manage work and 3 small children with flexibility and kindness. A man of vision that kept me in the workforce to develop and learn. I will take it on board to be a BFG to the many young professionals that are now flitting around our offices with such enthusiasm and potential. Well done.

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