You always have an impact


This week is the 10-year anniversary of my ‘blogging’ about leading with intention. I put blogging in quotes because when I started, I was emailing a monthly communique, rather than posting to a blog.

To celebrate the occasion I thought I would share my original communique, mailed on 10/30/2007, following a session I co-led with Therese Kienast and Diana Bing at the IBM Technical Leadership Exchanges in Paris, France and Orlando, Florida, called Unleashing Your Possibilities. The foundation of the experience was radical leadership.

So, here it is…

Set aside a few minutes for YOU!  Read this note and try the exercises at the end.  Go ahead, take a small step today that will move you forward in creating what you want and unleashing your possibilities!

You Always Have an Impact

Do you know that you always have an impact, even when you do nothing–sometimes especially when you do nothing.  You affect and influence meetings and decisions.  YOU!   What’s created during a meeting when no one responds to questions or comments?  What happens to the energy when no one is really present and engaged?

It just takes one person to speak up in order to create a shift.  Have you experienced that?  A meeting is dull and blah, blah, blah and then all of a sudden someone says something and people start tuning in and sharing their ideas?  It can be anyone that speaks up, the lowest paid person on the team to the highest level manager or executive.  Sometimes people wait for the appointed, formal leader to show the way.  But, you know what? Sometimes that leader actually needs YOU to show the way.  As employees and human beings, we have full permission to speak up and share our ideas–in fact, it is our responsibility.  It’s part of what’s expected.

And, speaking up can create a shift in different directions—what you say can pull a meeting down when the point is off task, or when what’s shared is critical rather than constructive.  OR what you say can lift a meeting when the point is spot on and moves the agenda forward.  Be conscious of the tone that you set and the shifts that you create, and choose from your heart.

Something to Think About

Consider the impact you have and how you want to show up…

  • What impact are you having?
  • How are you showing up and what is it creating?
  • Are you creating what you want with the way you show up?
  • Is there something different you want to create?
  • What can you do to create something different?

Try This!

  1. Right now, think about the last meeting you were in and consider these questions:
  • How did you show up?
  • What was your experience of the meeting?
  • How do you think your presence influenced the meeting?
  • How could you have created something different?
  1. Pick a meeting you are attending tomorrow.

Before the meeting, get clear on:

  • What do I want the meeting to be like?
  • How do I want to show up?
  • What do I want to create for the meeting?

During the meeting, tune in to these considerations:

  • What is happening for me right now? How do I feel?  What do I want?  Am I engaged and interested?  When am I tuning out, and why?
  • What is happening for others in the meeting? Do others appear interested?  Are they engaged?
  • How is the meeting going? What’s it like?  What kind of experience is it?

After the meeting, ask yourself the questions you considered in Step 1.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

Gail Blanke

 * I took this photo in Doolin, County Clare, Ireland. My husband, Jim, and I had an impact on the sheep grazing in the pasture as we passed on the stony path. Right after this, all three ran in the opposite direction. ;]

Author: Vicki L Flaherty

I am most alive when I am creating, whether through writing, photography, gardening, cooking, crafting, sewing, yoga. I enjoy traveling because it opens me to greater awareness and new possibilities. I find a special joy when I’ve helped someone see their brilliance and express their full potential. As I've focused on living more mindfully, I've found special joy in expressing myself through poetry and photography, and in truly being in relationship with those I meet along my journey.

12 thoughts on “You always have an impact”

  1. Hi, Vicki! Congratulations on 10 years of providing excellent advice (not to mention resilience, perseverance and hard work)! The points you made in your first post and as applicable today, as they were then. Best to you and yours. Hector

    1. Hector, how fantastic to see you here. You’ve been a strong encouragement for years. I was surprised when I re-read that 2007 post how it still rang so strong for me…some things are timeless. I appreciate your support. Thank you.

  2. Vicki – congratulations on 10 years of blogging. YOU are making a great impact! I remember when a friend at IBM said, you have to signup for this lady’s newsletters – she’s great and just like you; you’ll love her! (And I do!) That’s how I came to know about you!

    1. Oh, Sunita, I am so glad for that connector colleague! We are indeed kindred spirits. I am grateful that we got to know each other and now call each other friend. To play off what one of my local Iowa friends says (It’s funner when you win – she’s a big Hawkeye football fan), it’s funner on this journey with YOU!

    1. Thank you, Karen! It’s been an amazing journey of personal transformation and growth. One of my discoveries is that the challenge of pulling my thoughts together around an idea for a blog helps deepen my learning. I only hope that my insights and ideas help others as they help me. I know that I learn so much from you and your blogs…

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