3.11 Anteambulo

Anteambulo, noun: A person whose job it is to walk in front of another; especially an usher; also figurative. Now specifically in Roman History: a client who walked in front of his patron to clear the way.

Ryan Holiday says it best:

Find canvases for other people to paint on.

That is, completely ignore getting credit, getting ahead, even throw out what your job is supposed to be on paper. Instead, focus all your energy on finding, presenting, and facilitating opportunities that help other people inside the company succeed — particularly the people you directly report to.

The Roman patronage system had a role in it that we have no real analog for. The word is “anteambulo” — literally meaning “clearing the path.” An anteambulo proceeded in front of their patron anywhere they traveled in Rome, making way, communicating messages and generally making their lives easier.

That’s what I am talking about. Your real job, when you just get started, is to support, clear, and aid. If you can do that well, you will be indispensable, I promise.”

Right now for some reason this seems to be the path I’m on or back on. It’s when I perform my best. I bring my best work to the table when it represents the best interest of other people!