I hope I’m not giving anything away here, but if you weren’t already aware, you aren’t going to live forever. Your time on the Earth is relatively short and I think many people share a goal in making enough of an impact that you aren’t forgotten when you are gone. I think that is why many reality shows are such a hit, people want to have their 15 minutes of fame and by appearing before millions of people in whatever kind of staged environment producers can come up with allows those individuals to feel like they have a shot at being remembered. For others, it isn’t about fame, but about making a difference. I think many people would like to be remembered for doing something great. But there are only so many great things that can happen, all six billion people in the world can’t be known for something great, can they?
I believe how we can make a difference in the world is to remember that for the vast majority of us, our realm of influence is pretty small. Everyone probably only has 100-200 people that they are really close to and spend time with, regardless of how many friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter they have. My world starts with my family, then extends to my friends and coworkers. If everyone thinks of that group of people as their world, how can you make a difference there?
To make a difference...just make a difference, add value, help out. Do something for someone that makes their life easier and doesn’t really do anything for you. Usually it is easy with friends and family, at work it is different. There isn’t enough time to get your work done, there is no way there is time to do other’s work as well. I believe though that if you want to be great, and you want to be a leader, you will find a way to set this example. When you can add value, by offering a helping hand, support, insight or feedback that helps the other person, you win. That also means not being negative, playing devil’s advocate, criticizing or pointing out all of the things not working. Not many people find that sort of feedback on its own helpful.
Imagine an organization where you hear, “I just heard (fill in the blank) and thought it might be helpful to you.” Or how about, “I understand you get to work on the Smith project. Just so you know the Jones project I did earlier this year sounds pretty similar, happy to help out if you have any questions.” Wouldn’t you like to work with those people in that type of a company? So why isn’t that how you talk? Why isn’t that how your organization operates? Where you hear things like that being said you will find success. That is how you can make a difference, make a difference in the lives of the people that you are in contact with every day.