Disclaimer!!! There is ZERO brag in this post. If you know me, you know my heart. I honestly believe that someone, somewhere may find some encouragement from what I am about to share. If you read this and think it’s bragging, please know it’s not my intention. I’m not that guy. Yet there is something so rich about what just happened to me. I must share….
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.
The quote above came from Maya Angelou and I firmly believe every word of it. I have to be really honest and tell you that, to quote Tommy Boy, “I suck as a salesman.” It’s crazy to me that I spent the early part of my career in sales. I can’t sell anything. I think I found my niche in creating relationship. I honestly cared about people. The interesting thing is that sales followed. Think about it, who do you buy from? You buy from people you trust and that care about you. I carried this belief into Senior Leadership. I led through believing and caring about people. I’m not special, it’s just all I know how to do.
About 30 minutes ago, I hung up the phone from the most remarkable conversation. I’ll tell you about it, but first, I have to give some groundwork. If you’ve ever been let go, fired, laid off you know there are some strange days. I’ve heard stories of deep depression. Thankfully I’ve avoided the valleys so far, but I will admit there is a whole lot of soul searching. You begin to question with every day that phone doesn’t ring. Now, back to the moment the phone rang today….
The person on the other end of the line was the President and CEO of a competitor of my former employer. Through our conversation he said he had “heard about me” and named former colleagues and even, gulp, customers! I sat there stunned. Speechless. We had a remarkable conversation and I honestly feel like I gained a friend today. I’m richer from our conversation. But this isn’t about me, here’s what I want to share (took me long enough…thanks for hanging if you’re still reading..)
Every day you and I get up and “do what we do.” Today, for me, it’s folding laundry, dropping off the kids and walking the dog. No matter if you make widgets, high level decisions, cookies or lesson plans, remember this – people will REMEMBER how you made them feel. Our day could be terrible. We could hate what we do, but I believe he who builds relationship, builds his/her destiny. We have the opportunity each and every moment to leave our fingerprints on the soul of whomever comes in our path.
A life touched by God always ends by touching others. – Erwin McManus
As you read this (I apologize for the length), take it as a challenge the rest of what’s left of THIS day. Consider how you speak, treat and care for others. You never, ever, know when it will return. When it does, it will bless YOU. They won’t remember what you said, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.