The influence of one can impact the outcome of many. I was very aware of this as a point guard in basketball. It was up to me to bring the ball up the court and make the right decisions about what play to run, when to shoot, and when to pass. There were times when I needed to be more of an offensive force to help our team win. At other times, I needed to pass the ball and get my teammates involved in the flow of the game. The outcome was often determined by the choices I made – for better and sometimes, for worse.
In life, we make choices all the time that affect the lives of other people. Some people have an isolated viewpoint and think that their individual choices leave no residual effect on the people in their sphere of influence. For example, a leader may believe that his choice not to speak to people as he walks into the office has no effect on the perceptions of his employees; yet, by not speaking, he speaks volumes about his view of them and their importance. In an instance like this, the leader misses an opportunity to engage with and encourage the people he leads every day. The reality is that we were created to live in community with others, and our words and actions have impact not only on the generation represented in front of us but for generations to come.
While our influence is important to focus on, the outcome can be a choice as well. My father made a choice to leave our family when I was 3, and it made an impact on my mom and myself and affected our immediate outcome but not our eventual destination. I could have used that as an excuse – never to trust others, never to marry, never to have kids. I realized along the way that I had a choice to reverse the effect of this influence for good – to trust others, to marry, to be blessed with five boys who will hopefully carry on the mantle of positive influence in the lives of others.
Be careful how you choose to live your life. Each moment is critical to not only your own success and significance but also to the success and significance of others. You have been given a sphere of influence for a reason. Choose today to positively impact the people within your sphere of influence and leave a lasting legacy of true leadership and impact.
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