I recently watched what is now one of my all-time favorite TED talks. In a candid and funny six minutes, Drew Dudley shares how he once changed someone’s life with a lollipop, without even realizing it until many years later when the young woman recounted the story to him. I love how he describes everyday leadership:
Marianne Williamson said, “Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, and not our darkness, that frightens us.”
And my call to action today is that we need to get over that. We need to get over our fear of how extraordinarily powerful we can be in each other’s lives. We need to get over it so we can move beyond it, and our little brothers and our little sisters, and one day our kids — or our kids right now — can watch and start to value the impact we can have on each other’s lives more than money and power and titles and influence.
We need to redefine leadership as being about lollipop moments, how many of them we create, how many of them we acknowledge, how many of them we pay forward, and how many of them we say thank you for.
Because we’ve made leadership about changing the world, and there is no world. There’s only six billion understandings of it, and if you change one person’s understanding of it, one person’s understanding of what they’re capable of, one person’s understanding of how much people care about them, one person’s understanding of how powerful an agent for change they can be in this world, you’ve changed the whole thing. And if we can understand leadership like that, I think if we can redefine leadership like that, I think we can change everything. And it’s a simple idea, but I don’t think it’s a small one.
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