Think for a moment about the people who have made the biggest difference in your life. Who pointed you in a new direction? Who gave you that unique opportunity? Who saw something in you, that perhaps you hadn’t even seen in yourself?
There are people we meet who seem to magically change the trajectory of our lives in an instant. Before we meet them, life is humming along under the guise of normalcy. And then (cue change agent), you meet, and everything is different.
Of course, it’s not just the “meeting” that is life changing. We all meet new people every day. Some of them are quite nice and interesting, (and some not so much) but simply meeting someone isn’t the game changer. What changes the game, is that they see something that you don’t. They see possibility.
What changes the game, is that they see something that you don’t. They see possibility.
When I look at the crossroads of my life, they are all marked by the extraordinary professionals who have seen possibility in me. Their names are like mile-markers in my memory: Fred, Dave, Gordon, Tim, Michele, Jennifer, Ann, Sherri, Mike, Cecil… I know how fortunate I am. My list is long. But I am very clear that my possibilities have been a direct correlation to their ability to really “see”.
Almost two years ago, I was out facilitating a leadership program for a big pharmaceutical company in the Northeast. The Director of Training for the pharmaceutical company was sitting in my room, and some point (I really don’t remember the context) I had used an example from my colorful theatre days. Being the resourceful guy he is, after leaving my session, the training director sought me out on the internet, learned more about my background, and walked into my classroom the next morning and changed my life. I don’t know if that was what he had planned to do (although knowing him, it wouldn’t surprise me if he had some awareness around the impact he would have), but that’s what he did. He changed my life. He changed my life by seeing possibility in me. That possibility sparked the beginning of OnStage Leadership.
Since that day, close to 140 people have gone through OnStage Leadership. That possibility is creating a community of leaders who are making a difference in their organizations, in their relationships, and in their lives. That possibility became my life’s work. I am forever grateful for his ability to see what is possible. While he is an extraordinary human being, what he did is something that every leader has the power to do. He saw possibility in someone else, and took action to bring it to light.
What he did is something that every leader has the power to do. He saw possibility in someone else, and took action to bring it to light.
As leaders, we are far more influential than we often realize. Our words and actions have the power to change people’s lives – to bridge their confidence, to illuminate their natural talents, to create opportunity, to spark growth. Look around you. You’re surrounded – your staff, colleagues, customers, vendors, friends, family – all human beings to whom your words and actions can make a positive difference. Or not.
What kind of leader do you want to be?
This is dedicated to the leaders in my life who have had the ability to see and the courage to do something about it.
©OnStage Leadership, 2010
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