Abraham Lincoln once said, “I never had a policy; I have just tried to do my very best each and every day.”

After over 10 years with my current employer, I will soon be leaving to start an incredibly exciting role.  One of the things that has surprised me as I come to the end of this chapter of my life, has been the number of people who have come up to me to express their appreciation for the positive influence that I have had on them.  I’m not writing this to boast, but to highlight that I didn’t fully comprehend the impact of doing what I thought was the right thing over the past ten years.

What have I learned from this experience?

You won’t always hear about it at the time.  Some of the people who have been kind enough to write to me I haven’t worked with for over 7 years.  Whilst this can be slightly demoralising if you don’t hear encouraging feedback straight away, it’s also reassuring to know that the investment we make in people continues to develop over the course of time.

What are you investing in people at the moment?  Will there be a legacy left after you’ve gone?

You won’t hear about the impact from everyone.  I don’t know what the exact percentage is, but I suspect that we only receive feedback on the positive impact that we have from about 25% of the people we influence.  As such, if you hear from 10 people, you may have positively impacted as many as 40.  How cool is that?

This information also encourages me to thank those who have positively impacted me.  Expressing my gratitude to others can be a great encouragement to them to keep going.

I wish I’d done more.  One of the sobering thoughts that I have had is that I honestly wish that I had done more for others.  It’s not a great reflection on my personality that I was perhaps looking for some form of validation from others to continue to do the right thing.

If I was to have the last 10 years again, I would have been far more adventurous in my endeavours to do more for others.  Then again, if it wasn’t for the past 10 years, perhaps I wouldn’t have learned my lesson.  I can only look ahead now and hope and pray that I can intentionally impact the lives of others in a positive way.

Galatians 6:9-10a says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people.”

The message that I have taken from this experience is to ensure that I take advantage of every opportunity to do good things for others.  Not so that I get praise, not because it’s expected of me, but because it’s the right thing to do and it does make a difference.

Who’s with me?

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