How To Make An Unforgettably Positive Impact On Others
I’ll never forget the moment the furniture tycoon rolled down the window of his car and told me something that literally changed my world. It also showed what powerful leaders are able to do, and why they are unforgettable when they do it. Want to know what he did? Read on.
We were in the midst of a major house renovation. Workmen, rubble, dust- everywhere. Worse still – big bills coming in every three weeks. Costs were blowing out. I was losing courage and faith. Anyone who has been through this knows the feeling. It’s overwhelming.
Then it got even worse. The architect pushed for us to do an additional phase of work- to renovate the roof cavity to create more living space. It made huge sense. But the additional cost was simply a bridge too far. I just could not bring myself to go that extra step. Even though…dammit…it made sense!
We had to make a decision by the Monday. We went to the deserted work site on the Sunday to contemplate. I was totally confused, petrified, paralyzed.
My Neighbor To The Rescue
My neighbor drove up. He’s an entrepreneur who has built a highly successful, nationwide high end furniture business. “How’s it going?” he asked. “Not good,” I sighed. “We have a dilemma; whether to renovate the roof space. But it’s the cost. I am so nervous it will be a mistake.”
“Chris,” he enthused. “You can’t go wrong! Have faith. It’s a no brainer! That extra space is practical, and will add big new value. Do it. You won’t look back. Remember- fortune favors the brave!” And with that he drove off with a wave and thumbs up.
My shoulders lifted. My pulse raced. Excitement built. This self-made leader had created a substantial business by taking prudent risk, and by being bold. Of course we should do it! On Monday, we gave the green light. And we have not looked back.
So-What Had He Done That Was So Special?
What my neighbor did at that moment in time was to give me confidence. He gave me a feeling of hope; and a feeling that inspired me into action.
Remember- as a leader, people won’t remember what you say, or what actions you take, but they will always remember how you make them feel.
The key to great leadership is the ability to inspire. And inspiration is all about feelings.
Think about the people who have had the most impact on you in your life (positive or negative). Can you honestly remember all the things they said? Or did? Probably not. But can you remember how they made you feel? I bet you can. Like it was yesterday.
A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader; a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves
Napoleon said: “Leaders are dealers in hope.”
I have always been a ‘shameless dispenser of enthusiasm.’ I know I can inspire and lift others if I put the energy into it. Sometimes, and I don’t know why, but sometimes I kind of feel a bit resentful having to do it. It’s a selfish feeling. Very. I don’t know why I have it, but I do.
If you want to be a genuinely effective leader, you need to learn your own way to inspire and motivate others: to create positive feelings that help them back themselves, push through their fears and achieve their potential; to create positive feelings they will never forget. And you need to be very generous with your energies, and do it often.
After all, a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Sounds trite- but it is, quite simply, true. Just think about what my neighbor did for me that day. He was generous with his energies, dispensed hope, and made a very positive difference. And- I’ll never forget how that made me feel. Ever.