Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It Only Takes a Little

I overheard the following statement

He seems so busy. Every time I see him he says, 'I have something new to work on'.

How different that person's life would be if he added only two words, 'for someone', so it becomes:

I have something new for someone to work on.

That's the difference between that one person doing all of the work, being stressed, and the single contact (and point of failure) for work versus growing others, being an active leader and letting others do some of the work they may really enjoy. 

Those two words are the difference between a leader and a doer.

The world is impacted more by small, individual actions of many than by huge actions of a few.

I was listening to Playing for Keeps, a free audiobook by Mur Lafferty.  In it a crowd has been deceived, and a few simple words would break the multitude of their deception.  the solution that came to my mind was for one person to show out loud to the crowd and convince them.  The protagonists solution was to tell one person, and ask them to tell others, and have them tell others as well.  That small action worked far faster than my solution, where I'd have to get the attention of the group and be heard. 

By taking the small action of speaking to one person instead of many, the entire group was changed and the people were free.

When I hear a speaker, I'm only half engaged.  Part of me is wondering how much this person really cares about me as a person.  If they're a good speaker, they are often too busy to really interact with each person who hears their words.  I may leave the talk feeling convicted and ready to change, but a week later that speech is often simply an echo in my mind.

The individuals I talk to day by day and week by week, who share life with me, now those are the people whose words really affect me.  The words spoken directly to me by one person are so much more important than those spoken to me and everyone around me.

I can remember hundreds of individual conversations that have changed my thinking and guided my life in some way.  I can think of very, very few speeches which have ever changed my direction.

So, what little action are you doing today?  What small drop are you making to cause spreading ripples in the pond?

Peace,
+Tom

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