Clear the path
Ancient Rome was a crowded place. There were all sorts of people from all sorts of backgrounds and social statuses jostling in the streets. It would have been difficult to make your way through the mass of humanity.
In Ego Is the Enemy, author Ryan Holiday explains that, to combat this, there were individuals whose primary job was to create an avenue for their employer to proceed as easily as possible:
“One of the roles was that of an anteambulo — literally meaning ‘one who clears the path.’ An anteambulo proceeded in front of his patron anywhere they traveled in Rome, making way, communicating messages, and generally making the patron’s life easier.”
In my career, I’ve focused on being an anteambulo for those with — and for — whom I have worked.
While it may seem like this type of approach is only useful for young people, I’d argue it’s valuable at any and every point in your career.
Everyone has a boss or a leader or a coach or even teammates. Even CEOs have a board of directors that monitor them. In all of those aspects, clearing the path for the other person(s) is vital to success.
Even if you’re an entrpreneur or a business owner, you want to clear the path for your customers so that they continue to support you and your business. In every aspect of business — and life — there are obstacles, and being the person that removes as many of those obstacles as possible for others is invaluable.
Do this for others and there will come a day in the future where someone will be serving as an anteambulo for you.
Clear the path.
Christopher Pierznik is the worst-selling author of nine books. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, Fatherly, Hip Hop Golden Age, and many more. Follow him on Facebook or drop him an email.