Inspired- this was the only word I had to describe the impact John Maxwell’s book “21
Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” had on me. This book wasn’t about how achieving mega deals or how fulfilled quotas and deadlines pushed people to the top. Instead it was all about the little details, the base ideals so to say- trust, respect, and leading by example to create the environment you desire. These concepts may not seem mind boggling but take a pause and think about two people you perceive as leaders.
The way they act, speak, and go about their daily lives may seem nonchalant, even unintentional! However, leadership is a choice, and it starts based on respect and appreciation for what people do every day. It is those who are aware of this who will make lasting changes in those around them. There can be thousands of examples from knowing all of your employee’s names or listening to their ideas during meetings that change how lives work.
But wait! This is a big idea! Where do I start? When do I end, and how do I know if I’ve
These are all valid questions, and are important to answer, so let’s get started.
The best way to start is…. This! You’re starting at the beginning. You’ve made a conscious
decision that you want to be a new level type of leader which arguably is the most difficult step to take. Now that you’ve gotten to this point its truly up to you on how to continue. Starting small is a great way to gain confidence in this endeavor before tackling something on a bigger scale.
At work learn somebody’s name and USE it! This will instantly improve your standing
with that individual and start your journey off with a strong base. Compliment them or thank
them for the tasks that they do thanklessly- you’ll be amazed at the results it can bring. A few weeks ago, I was presented with the opportunity to do just this while trying to make a flight.
I was in rush, trying to use the ladies room, grab a snack, and find the gate taking me on
the next leg of my journey. Dashing into the nearest restroom I was met with the sounds of
singing, and a cheerful “Hello!” There, wiping down counters and mopping steel gray floors,
was a young woman, smiling and welcoming each lady who entered the room as a friend,
chatting while continuing her work. It was so startling, this bright drop of joy in a place of
frenzied transition, that I paused. This woman was going well out of her way to engage with
every woman who came in regardless if they engaged her in return. In this moment my heart swelled, and I didn’t think, I just acted. After washing my hands, I approached the woman and spoke with her, elaborating on how she had made my day easier with her cheer. I then slipped her some money, in an attempt to make her day just as bright in the short amount of time I had.
I carry this day close to my heart because that wonderful woman inspired me that day to
make a change. By uplifting me, I was inspired to continually uplift others who are in my circle of influence as well. To validate another human being and to make them feel valued is an act that continues to give back days, months, and years later. It is our spoken affirmation that carries others forward and inspires them to spread their talents.
It doesn’t have to be big, as I pointed out before. Maxwell writes that it is the smaller
pieces of interactions that yield the largest fruit. So my challenge this week for you, and myself, is to go about your day in a state of mindfulness concerning what you say and do.
When interacting with others, make the effort to add value to them. It can be as small as saying hello, like my inspiration, or as large as giving somebody an opportunity to grow.
Whatever it is, remember that your value adds to others as much as you allow it to.