I’ve been writing and telling people for a long time that we can all be leaders and that the exciting fact is that leaders can make a difference in the world. Who wouldn’t want to make a difference in the world?
While I still believe everything in the last paragraph with my whole heart, there’s an important missing piece. I remember a particular episode of the CBS show Undercover Boss. In this episode the CEO of 711 went undercover in his organization. One of the people he worked with was Igor, a delivery man who delivered products to 711 stores in the Dallas area overnight. As I watched this portion of the show, and listened to Igor talk about why he was optimistic and why it made a difference for him and those he delivered products to, I heard my father’s words, said to me more times than I could count.
Don’t just stand there, do something.
And it is in the intersection of Igor, the immigrant delivery man and Phil, my Dad, that I got the missing piece of my message.
People do want to make a difference.
And while they may not see themselves as leaders (yet), or capable of being great leaders, they think making a difference takes big actions. I am reminded, and therefore am reminding you now, that we make a difference by doing something.
We don’t make a difference with one grand gesture or with one stunning idea, but with daily actions on our life’s path.
We don’t become successful leaders from one workshop, one new habit or one great coaching conversation; we become a better leader from any and all of those things strung together over time – with one action at a time.
What you do today may be small, or seem insignificant to you. Do not let that deter you.
You can be a Remarkable Leader. The capacity and potential is inside of you. It all starts by doing something. Taking an action. Making a difference. One day at a time.
Worry less about the big things, focus on doing the little things consistently with a humble positive expectation. In other words to modify my Dad’s admonition,
Don’t just stand there, make a difference.