How To Have Great Impact

How To Have Great Impact

My oldest daughter has lived over 35 million minutes in her eight and a half years of life. She’s grown from 7 pounds to 60 and stands about four feet tall. She is independent in many ways, especially compared to the infant we brought home from the hospital.

She has a lot more growing up to do, and I feel so privileged to walk through life with her and watch her grow.

Even though I know she has many more minutes to live in my care, I still feel an urgency to make the most of our time together. These first 8 years have gone so quickly.

Leaders who want to invest time in developing people need to remember that developing people takes time: Minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades.

The greater the investment of time, the greater the impact.

Developing people — like raising children — doesn’t happen overnight or instantaneously. There are no short cuts or accelerants, no quick fixes.

The way to have a great impact is to invest time in relationships.

Parents know this instinctively: raising kids is an everyday commitment, with steps forward and steps back. A parent’s commitment to developing children is long-term, lifelong. And the impact of parents on the lives of their children is inestimable.

Leaders who want to have a great impact can apply the principles of parenthood to their employees, colleagues, or followers.

  1. To have a great impact, make a great investment of your time and commitment.
  2. Growth comes from relationships. The closer the relationship, the greater the impact.
  3. In developing people, there will be setbacks along with advancement.
  4. Developing others is a privilege and honor. Enjoy it!
  5. Make the most of the time you have.

Join the conversation!

Which of these principles of parenthood resonates most with you? What other principles of parenthood can you apply to leading and developing others?

This was originally posted at Mountain State University LeaderTalk and is re-posted with permission. 

About Becky Robinson

I am the owner of Weaving Influence and the leader of the Weaving Influence team. We help authors and thought leaders grow their online influence. I am also a wife and mom of three daughters, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, a good cup of coffee, and dark chocolate.

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What People Are Saying

  • The main concept here is the focus you may have as a leader. Even as parents, most everyone has sometimes had a hard time seeing their children as what they may become, as pure potential, as a worthy investment of time. Time is, after all, precious to our lives inasmuch as we do not know how much we have. When you do not see that, your view is fixed on the moment, on what the person is and what they do. People are more than that! When a parent or a leader sees you as what you may become, believes that it is worthwhile to mentor you on your way there, it is a powerful thing. Most people will do their best to live up to the positive view, to see themselves as potential. To give back by being and not just by doing. Productivity ensues. But before it does, great leaders are already in that focus: instead of zoning in on what is done, they focus on building what can be done.

  • Hi Becky! I like “Growth comes from relationships”. Relationships are to the developing person as soil is to the sprouting seed. The relational soil must be consistently healthy, nourishing, and nurturing for the “seed” to survive, and to thrive. When it comes to human growth & potential, we must honor a process that is organic and natural, with special and sensitive needs.

  • I found myself nodding in agreement throughout this post, Becky. For both parents and leaders, it’s all too easy to say, “I’ll spend more time with [name] later but I’m too busy now.” And of course, later there’s always more to do. Viewing the time spent as a true investment is a critical perspective. Even though you may not see the results immediately, you can trust that genuine, focused attention on your relationship with that person will have great rewards for both of you down the road.

  • Your children are blessed to have such a mom. I love your writings and am moved by the simplicity of life yet so profound in other ways. Your a good writer and I pray one day you will write a book. I wish I could say I was a great mom and that is why my kids grew up to be the people they are but in reality I say by the Grace of God, there go I and my family.

  • As a first-time father of a seven week old little girl I found your analogy helpful in a way I might not have two months ago. The lesson I am currently learning with my daughter, especially in these early stages, is that the first challenge in a mentoring relationship is learning how to communicate. Right now, she doesn’t know how to tell me what she needs so it’s up to me to observe her closely to learn what she might be saying unconsciously (rubbing her eyes means she’s tired, kicking her legs means check the diaper, etc.). As she gets older she will gain a wide array of communication tools that she can use to clearly let me know what she wants, the challenge will then be to get her to use them.
    When we first begin mentoring someone in a professional context, especially someone who is new to the company or the position, they may not know what they need from us as a mentor. They may have no way telling us how we can help them to improve or grow because they aren’t familiar with us or with their environment. In this stage it is up to us to know the environment and what skills and attitudes are needed for successful growth. As the relationship develops and they are able to more clearly ask for specific help, the next challenge to ensure that they feel comfortable asking for that help. Maintaining an open attitude towards the people we mentor is vital to creating a sense of safety and well-being in them that will allow them to make full use of us as a resource.
    Lastly, I would like to add another perspective to the subject of impacting the lives of others. While it is clear that deep investment over time is an extremely effective way of influencing others, it is also possible to impact people deeply with just one meeting. The analogy I like to use is geology. For centuries it was accepted by geologists that the physical landscape was primarily the result of eons of slow shifts in the earth’s tectonic plates. However, that perspective has changed in the past 20 years or so as we have gained a greater understanding about the effect of meteor strikes on the surface of the earth. Entire valleys in central Europe contain mineral deposits that are evidence of a massive meteor strike millenia ago. Siberia, Arizona and the ocean floors also show evidence of large meteor impacts that have had a makor influence on the earth’s landscape. Modern geologists accept that the shape of the earth is due to a blend of long, slow internal change mixed with sudden upheaval from external impacts.
    Is there a speech, a seminar or a passage from a book that you still think about regularly even though you’ve never seen that person again? Perhaps you’ve had a fleeting introduction to someone you greatly admire and while they only said a couple of sentences to you, those words have stuck with you and inspired you for years? I know that I have.
    The application is this: sometimes we don’t have the opportunity to invest in a long term mentoring relationship. In those cases it is up to us to always give our full attention and energy to the people we with whom we make contact. You never know the sudden impact you might have that could inspire them for the rest of their lives.

  • Your writing always touches me and this post is a great example. As I sit on my couch reading it this Sunday morning, my kids are with their grandparents spending the night. I feel like the clock is ticking and I’m “missing out” when I am not with them. They are only six (twins). Just the other day, I coached a leader by comparing being a good leader to using parenting skills. I plan to share this post with her. There’s a difference between being a good manager and a good leader. Thank you for always helping us to focus on the leadership aspect.

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