I’ve been talking about getting what you want. In the last post, I described three ways you can get results. My belief is that there is only one that works: influence. It alone gets lasting results. As I posted before, when we let our lives speak and pass along the best of ourselves over time, the effect can last a lifetime and beyond – impacting future generations.
There’s a story from the history books that really illustrates that kind of influence – this is about General Dwight D. Eisenhower during WWII. Ike used to walk among his troops, and one night before a battle he met a young GI and chatted with him:
“How are you feeling, son?”
“General,” said the boy, “I’m awful nervous. I was wounded two months ago and just got back from the hospital yesterday. I don’t feel so good.”
“Well,” said the General, “you and I are a good pair, because I’m nervous, too… Maybe if we just walk along together toward the river, we’ll be good for each other.”
Eisenhower could have been in that boy’s face – “Suck it up and act like a man!” Or he could have tried to convince the kid – “Everything will be juuust fine, I promise!” But he chose to simply invite the boy to walk beside him. He inspired that soldier by being authentic, by being real. We face those same kinds of choices every day as we deal with our coworkers, our clients, and our families. Which way will we choose?
I’m writing on this site because I want to make a difference – to harness the power of words to help, encourage and empower people. It’s also a way for me to get what I want out of life – to live out my dreams of impacting leaders and being part of their success. I may be tempted at times to use words that are crafty and controlling – or syrupy sweet and convincing – because they can get me what I want.
But I have a higher goal – to have a positive influence on my world. That’s something we can all do. So let’s strive for authenticity and let our lives show people truth and hope – let them shout out honesty, integrity, excellence, empathy and compassion. Let’s inspire and empower as we choose actions over words and let our lives speak.