Leadership Development – Do You Know If You Are Contributing To Others?

Do you know how you are contributing to others?

You are in a leadership position. You lead an organization or business, you manage employees, you direct teams, you provide feedback, you engage in conversations with people everyday. Do you know what kind of impact you are having on others?

The last few days I have been reflecting on this question for myself. My own leadership coach asked me… “to create who I am in life, who I want to create myself to be… newly, recreate it” she said. So I created Who I am is Loving Inspiration, Peace and Contribution. Wow, quite a creation for me as a powerful and passionate leader to step into. (Isn’t amazing what we say sometimes?) And then she said, “Now live into it.”

So I began to observe where I was being Loving Inspiration, Peace and Contribution.

That afternoon I picked up my college alumni magazine and read how one of my classmates had been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award for rescuing a failing bank and revitalizing a community here in Michigan. In reading the article, it was clear that David had a very successful leadership career and was making a difference that was publicly being honored. My wandering mind had me thinking about the other leaders out there, who make a difference for one employee, one client, one family member, one person at a time. They touch someone positively in a keen way at a critical moment in their lives and are not awarded or honored in a public way. This happens every moment… people who connect with people have an opportunity to make a difference.

Over the next few days, I heard my clients and my family say things to me like:
“You are an inspiration to our family; you have given us so much.”
“I always feel so good after meeting with you. I came in all upset and I leave feeling peaceful.”
“What you said yesterday when we talked on the phone made a difference for me. I handled that situation with more confidence.”

Was it because I was “looking” at contribution that I heard these comments with new awareness? With a renewed appreciation?

It did make me realize how often we minimize our contributions to others, how we busily go about our days not acknowledging whether we are making a difference in those we lead and interface with. As a part of your on-going leadership development, I urge you to take a moment. Right now is good… and take a look for yourself. Are you listening to others and getting present to how you are contributing to them? You may be amazed at what you learn. And… you may just find yourself feeling honored, re-energized, recommitted to leading and contributing to the people around you.

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