Good Morning, Friends!
The other day, I was driving to my office, and my thoughts focused on our current situation’s weirdness – masks, restrictions, shutdown, pauses, vaccines, and more of the same. While sitting at the stoplight, I noticed a man holding a sign was standing at the corner of a busy intersection. The sign read, “no job, no money, no food, young family.”
For a fleeting moment, I thought, “should I give him money?”
I scanned the panhandler, trying to assess whether he was in severe need or someone trying to scam a few bucks. The panhandler’s clothes looked sufficiently shabby. His face and hair needed a good wash. He was not dressed for the morning chill, and he looked cold.
The light turned green, and I moved through the intersection, glancing back at him in the rearview mirror. As I approached the next intersection, the words “no food” echoed through my head. I realized that I have never been hungry a day in my life. I never had to worry about where my next meal would come from and how I would pay for it. Here was my moment of truth. What was I going to do?
At the next intersection, I pulled into the local McDonalds and purchased a gift card. I purchased enough to provide a couple of meals to feed a small family. Driving back, I questioned if I was making the right choice. What if he was a professional panhandler? What was he going to do with this gift card?
Rolling down my window, we made eye contact. At that moment, I knew that I made the right choice. He was in pain, and he did not want to stand at this corner, asking for help. For that brief exchange, we created a connection, a human connection that transcended his need and my helpfulness.
I needed that connection as much or more than he needed the money. In the days of social distancing and masks, we are losing the importance of connection and compassion.
So in your moment of truth, what will you do? How will you show up as a leader? Will you drive by, or do you go back? You are the difference – be the difference.
The Gift of the Magi
One of my favorite experiences during the holiday season is reading O. Henry’s short story, “The Gift of the Magi.” It’s a heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice. Click here to read “The Gift of the Magi.”
If you prefer to watch a charming, modern interpretation of this piece of literature, Click here for the short film. In this short, O. Henry meets a Greek crisis in a tale about romantic survival as the world is collapsing. Della is a young woman of limited income who is desperate to buy her partner a Christmas present on Christmas Eve. To obtain money for the cause, she decides to sell her hair; however, her sacrifice may be futile.
You Can’t Cancel Life
I love witnessing the indomitable human spirit, especially during these dark and challenging times. Amazon captures our human greatness in their 2020 commercial, “The Show Must Go On. ”
A younger sister sees her sisters’ disappointment and decides to take action. The young girl’s home-made poster reads ‘The Show Must Go On – outside, Sunday 7 pm’. Click here to watch the entire commercial, “The Show Must Go On.”
Let’s Go to the Movies
Oh, how I long for the days when we can go to movies replete with over-priced concessions and unhealthy popcorn. But for now, it’s streaming movies on your favorite service and microwave popcorn. Many films provide us with an abundance of leadership lessons that can be easily found on streaming services. Here are the top five business leadership movies ever made. Click here to learn more.
Action Breeds Confidence and Courage!
We spend too much time thinking, strategizing, and planning when we should simply act. I agree with da Vinci in that we must foster and create urgency of doing. So, let’s get off our seats and do something of significance.
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” — Leonardo da Vinci, scientist, artist, astronomer, and mathematician
Trust: The Leadership Currency
According to the 2018’s “State of Employee Engagement,” trust in leaders is the highest-ranked link to employee engagement at 77%. It’s even higher than traditional motivators like organizational culture (73%) or career growth opportunities (66%).