Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- Leo Buscaglia

Monday, February 27, 2012

Sharing Expertise Freely

     I had lunch today with a senior leader from a local non-profit organization.  He had heard me present a talk recently and the organization's CEO had read my book.  They wanted my input on some challenges they're currently having around their organizational culture and I said that I'd be glad to listen and see if I could be of value.
     As my contact related their story over lunch, he shared his frustration at their current state and their lack of progress.  More significantly, he expressed a lack of clarity about just how to change things.  Thankfully, one of my strengths is to see order where others often see chaos and confusion.  I was able to use that strength, together with my knowledge and experience, to help him see their issues in entirely new and useful ways.  By the end of our lunch, he seemed relieved to finally have a clearer picture of what needs to happen.  He asked if I'd be willing to meet with their senior leadership team to help get everyone "on the same page," which, of course, I agreed to.
     As I thought about the meeting later, it occurred to me that there are so many different ways of being kind and helping others.  Sometimes, it's a small gesture of courtesy or lending a helping hand.  Sometimes it's being a good listener.  Sometimes it involves offering a compliment or a gift.  Sometimes it's performing a physical act (like giving someone a ride or shoveling a driveway).  And other times, like today, it's a purely intellectual gift.  Each has its own kind of impact and its own unique ability to spread.  Today's conversation has the power to generate new thinking that potentially impacts many hundreds, and even thousands, of people.  That's pretty fun.

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