“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” — Isaac Newton
You have a choice. Right now. Every day, you can decide how you’re going to impact people’s lives. I know what you’re thinking. You don’t think you do, but hear me out.
You can be indifferent and self-centered. You can find fault in others and criticize. Or you can decide to leave a positive footprint. If you’re reading this in a public setting, chances are everyone around you is looking down at their phones. Imagine they all stop, look up, and smile to one other. OK, it would be super awkward if you’re around strangers, but the energy would change in an instant from indifference to a positive feel-good vibe.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how much knowledge you have. You can be a positive leader at any moment of your life. It doesn’t require any money. Or any special training. It requires a willingness to reach out and touch people’s lives.
If you own a business or are in a position of leadership, the values you bring into your work are as important as your efficiency. We tend to believe that the quality of our work defines us. But there are other efficient people who can probably do the same thing you’re currently doing. Maybe not as well but well enough. What makes a difference is the intangibles. Your attitude, how you act, how you make other people feel. Do you make others around you better? Do you create products and services that improve people’s lives? Are you just passing through or do you want to have a lasting impact in your industry, your community?
These days, brands are quick to embrace ‘purpose and mission’ and a myriad of causes. Some are genuinely invested but for many, it’s all about selling more X each quarter. So if you’re donating a percentage of your sales to a cause, I salute you but it’s not enough. To make a real difference, you need to embrace a set of values and adhere to them in every aspect of your business. Inspire others in real life, not just in your marketing. Be the giant that helps others see further.
George Morris says that every ride, you’re either training or un-training your horse. The same principle applies in everyday life. With every interaction, you’re either making a positive or negative impact. You decide which footprint you want to leave.