Get Your Impact Together for Leadership

By Tom Davidson

If you’re not making a positive impact on people’s lives, you might be doing your job, but you’re not doing your job as a leader.

Think back on the teachers, preachers, Scout leaders and supervisors you’ve had in your life. If you’re lucky, more than a few of them have left an indelible and positive impression on you in some way.

They might have:

  • Caused you to think differently about yourself, your future or your true potential
  • Been a role model in some way that planted a seed and that you later wanted to emulate
  • Taught you an important lesson that stuck with you and became part of your character

For example:

  • One of my high school history teachers was so excited and animated about American History that his pure exuberance for the subject inspired me to look for my own passion in life.
  • My high school track coach worked hard to find a place for me on the team even though I had no discernable talent for the sport. Discovering that I could get people to work together, he later awarded me a letter in team building, teaching me the importance of finding people’s best fit in every situation.
  • Much later in life, I had a boss who always put his people first, unintentionally teaching me that followers are earned and that they aren’t just assigned along with the job title.

You might have a management job, but you’re not a leader unless you’re making a positive impact on the people’s lives around you.

How to do that goes beyond the use of competency models, motivational techniques and filling out annual performance reviews on time. Here’s what you have to do:

  1. You have to care about your people.
  2. You have to go the extra mile to help them learn and grow.
  3. You have to role model what great looks like.

What lessons have you learned and from what leaders in your life?

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