The recent media buzz about our carbon footprint reminded me of my personal goal to have a “small footprint, large impact” life. I try to live out this principle in every area of life and business.
I do a lot of formal and informal teaching; sharing of valuable insights and skills. I’ve paid a price to learn these things, but it’s my joy to give them away as freely and widely as possible. Whenever you’re in a teaching or mentoring role, you can adopt 2 attitudes:
- Know-it-all: Make a splash, lord it over your subjects, extract appropriate respect and fealty from them. Assert your rights. Stuff your resume. A large footprint approach.
- Servant leadership: Meet folks where they are at. Figure out creative ways to give them as much as they can receive. Learn along side of them. Delight in their progress and success without keeping account of the credit you receive. Leave them asking, “Who was that masked man?”
My commitment to the latter approach is based both on some enduring faith principles (It’s better to give than receive, greater are those who serve, buy truth and don’t sell it), plus the fact that it seems to work. It produces better results for others (large impact) and the confidence that comes from knowing that you’ve been a “net-giver” in any situation, not a leech. It challenges me to keep growing personally and keep simplifying what I’ve learned, so I can pass on more for less
I recently chatted with an individual that I had trained and consulted with nearly 15 years ago. I know we accomplished some good things together that helped his company. I remembered him quite well; he could barely recall where we met. Success!
As I’ve watched this year’s political campaigns, I’ve been disappointed (not surprised) by the hype that presents candidates as saviors and this election as a historic crossroads. I’m reasonably confident that each of the presidential candidates are solid, 95th percentile folks; this implies that there are 15 million Americans with roughly equal capabilities. I sincerely hope they know that and want to be “small footprint, large impact” servant-leaders.