Some years ago I worked with a client who wanted as his legacy that he added value to people. We spent half a day at my office brainstorming what that would look like and how to do it. Eventually we determined 27 actions he could take.
I wonder how many of us are intentional each day about adding value to others, to making each day matter to someone other than ourselves.
My wonderful friend, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a speaker, author, publisher and philanthropist (and wore other hats as well). He was bigger than life in the best way: he lived large and he made it his mission to help others live larger. Observing him, as well as being the beneficiary of his wisdom and kindness, I had a living example of someone who added valued to others every day.
What can you and I do to lead like Charlie?
There are some simple things any of us can do every day if we look for opportunities. Here are four ideas, as it turns out, that form a simple acronym about how to make a big difference.
To add value to people and make a bigger difference to others each day, consider P.I.E.S.
People like to be recognized for the good that they do, and many labor in obscurity without the praise they deserve. Some continue on despite the lack of praise, but others become discouraged and give up. It is easy to spot the bad in others, and notice what they do wrong or poorly, but finding the good is an art. It means paying closer attention and making time to praise what you find.
Make it your mission to find and acknowledge the praiseworthy in others.
Inspiration is the fuel for extraordinary performance. I define inspiration as motivation to the power of purpose. Inspiration elevates thinking and vision and is the fuel of the extraordinary. Sharing compelling stories, memorable quotes, and, most importantly, a positive example are some of the ways we can inspire others.
Help others find inspiration in their lives by demonstrating it in your life.
To encourage means to give support, confidence or hope to someone. Notice those who are struggling. Don’t offer faux hope, but remind them of their past successes and current capabilities. Show them they have the skills they need to meet present challenges.
Find those who struggle or need a boost and offer words that encourage.
There are so many things we can do to serve others. It can be simple like holding a door or helping someone with directions. If you know someone is unable to get out, don’t offer to bring them food–show up with a pizza. And the needs we meet don’t have to cost money. A listening ear and sympathetic response make a difference as well.
Look for ways big and small to be of service every day.
Doing these things will make a difference to others, and make you a more powerful influencer. Henry Drummond wrote, “You will find, if you think for a moment, that the people who influence you are the people who believe in you.” What better way to do that than by giving praise, inspiration, encouragement and service.
Mark Sanborn is an award winning speaker and Leadership Expert in Residence at High Point University, the Premier Life Skills University. For more information about his work, visit www.marksanborn.com.