"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."
How you make them feel…
As leaders you are called to do much more than create organizations, raise money, and lead other people. Often times the simplest and most powerful thing you can do is to love someone. Now love is word that we overuse a lot today and when I use it here I do not mean to fall in love or to physically love someone. When I speak about loving someone I speak about treating that person as an equal. I speak of treating the person as a friend.
We sometimes get into the habit where we forget about the people around us. We forget that they have their own struggles, their own stories, and their own pain. We forget that we, as human beings, are meant to live in relationship and as such, need other people to survive. Often times, the words and actions of someone else have a profound impact on us even if we don’t want them to.
But this is who we are and how we were created. We are created in a community. So as leaders, young and old, we need to think critically about how we act each day. How do we treat our co-workers, how do we treat our friends, how do we treat our family, and how do we treat the strangers we meet every single day. Most moments of our public lives are surrounded by other people and whether you talk to them or not, your presence and your demeanor can have a huge impact on how they feel.
So who really makes a difference?
So who really makes a difference in the world, is it the billionaire who donates half his income to charity, or it the university student who travels abroad for a month and volunteers at a local orphanage playing with kids, getting to know the staff, and genuinely investing in the lives of other people?
A lot would argue that the billionaire donor is the one who will make the biggest difference and anyone would be hard-pressed to argue otherwise. But many others (myself included) would argue that you don’t need millions of dollars to change the world, you don’t need money at all. The only thing a person needs to change the world is the attitude that every life matters and to go out every day and live that way.
I barely remember most of my childhood, but I do remember the feeling I got when I went to visit my grandmother she showed my what unconditional love was. I remember wanting to make my coach proud because he treated me with respect and made me feel like I mattered.These are the things that people remember.
We are often told that what we accomplish makes a difference in the world, but I challenge you to think more about how you make other people feel in consequence to the actions you make every day.