Book: The Mentor Leader
Author: Tony Dungy
Quote: “Don’t worry about your platform; focus on your impact.”
“Leadership is about influence.” This statement has been stated by Brad Lomenick, Jocko Willink, John C. Maxwell, Tony Dungy, and many others. If leadership is about influence, then it is not about titles or positions. So many people, my previous self included, feel that leadership can only happen in positions with leadership titles. The truth is that leadership happens wherever we influence those around us. The platform doesn’t matter. Your impact is what matters most.
In the past, I had been worried about my platform and my position when it came to leadership and influence. I always thought that my platform mattered, and I needed to be in certain positions to have the greatest impact. I always thought that my words would have more meaning and influence if I held a “leadership position.” I cared more about my platform than I did my impact. Through time, however, I have learned the value of focusing my attention and energy on the people I come into contact with on a daily basis.
You see, a platform is nothing more than a title or position. You could have the greatest title or the highest ranking position, and still have little to no impact on the people around you. I have personally found that when we care more about our platform, we miss opportunities to encourage, support, and help those around us. In other words, we miss opportunities to have a real impact on others. Focusing more on our platform than our impact makes it easier to alienate others and focus only on people who can benefit us. We tend to become selfish and self-centered when our platform is more important than our impact.
Imagine the possibilities when our focus changes from platform to impact. All people become important, and we focus on having positive actions and words toward others. We start to realize that our impact means much more than our platform. You see, our impact reflects our character and our intentions. People are one of the most valuable elements we have in our life. Without people, life is meaningless. We need to consider our words and actions as we work with our team. We need to speak life and encouragement and support those on our team. People will remember you for how you treated them, not for the position you held.
There is an old saying – I’m pretty sure you have heard it, “Do unto others as you would have done unto you.” We can state this phrase with ease, but how often do we stop and consider what this statement means? Have you ever reflected on the actions, words, and thoughts you have towards others and determine if you would appreciate the same actions, words, and thoughts made towards you? It’s easy to say “Yes”, but in reality, I guarantee that there are some things you do to others that you would NOT appreciate done to you. Again, your impact is much more valuable than the platform you hold.
Always remember, how you act toward others holds more power and value than the platform you think you have. People will remember your actions before they remember your platform.
As always, stay humble and serve well!