People naturally follow leaders stronger themselves. Great things are accomplished because of that. John Maxwell calls this The Law of Respect and it’s a powerful force. It doesn’t rely on age, experience or resources. All it takes is a great leader who is willing to speak up.
Canadian hero, Ryan Hreljac, was six years old when he began to inspire the respect of a leader. In school, he’d learned about how difficult it was for many people in Africa to access clean water, and he wanted to help. His parents paid him for doing household chores and he diligently saved the money, but it wasn’t enough. Since he’s a leader, he didn’t stop there. He began reaching out to clubs and schools and anyone who would listen. Because he was sincere and inspired confidence, he gained respect. People wanted to help. Within a year he raised $2000 and the money was used to drill his first water well in Uganda.
After that initial...
When I was in my teens, Ernie Gould was my hockey coach. Ernie took a true interest in all of his players. Coach made himself available whenever anyone needed a little extra help.
If I needed a ride to the rink, he’d go out of his way to pick me up and take me home.
Fifty years later, I still remember how he helped me get a summer job at the manufacturing company where he was the senior sales person. When I needed extra money, Coach hired me to paint the exterior of his house.
Now that was an eye-opener. It taught me respect for the work done by painting professionals. Coach paid me $100 for the job. And here’s the funny part. As he handed over those crisp $20 dollar bills, he encouraged me to pursue any career but painting. I thanked him, but didn’t realize until much later that he was gently letting me know that house painting was not my thing. This is what a good leader does.
I’ve had the honour of knowing several people like Coach Ernie who added great...
Have you ever thought of yourself as a person of influence? What does it take?
Do you need to be in a leadership role to have influence? Everyone has influence. We all have an impact at home, in our job, as volunteers, in everything we do.
Often, we don’t realize the impact we have on others.
Twenty-five years ago when I was a manager of a non-profit, I coached a young man who was starting a business. He was a talented designer and wanted to start a business making images that could be attached to the spokes of a wheelchair. You see he was in a wheelchair himself and he played a lot of basketball.
He thought it would be cool for the players and their fans if the spinning wheels were more eye-catching. I coached him as he set up his business and he seemed destined for success.
Five years ago, I was about to give a presentation. Before we started, I went around the room and introduced myself. When I put my hand out to a man in a wheelchair, he gave me an enormous smile and...