We influence the life and story of every person we interact with. Â In a very real sense we can be a key ingredient in the recipe of someone elseâ€™s day. Â We might make their meal or day more bland, or we might spice it up a bit and give it a bit more zest, flavor and YUM. Â Cultural leadership is about inspiring, not requiring people to perform. Â Inspiring people to be more positive, purposeful, and engaged is rarely the result of a single grand event. Â Rather it is the result of the cumulative affect of a thousand small acts that are consistently inviting peopleâ€™s consciousness towards higher ground.Â One easy way I have found to keep my cultural kitchen smelling fresh is by stirring in some excellence each and every day.
Each day from my website I send out a T4D or Thought for the Day.Â The purpose of the T4D is simply to share a positive or inspiring quote or story with the reader. Â Not too many years ago, the T4D list that is today read by thousands, was read only by my small team 33 co-workers.Â
A friend outside of work had sent me a few cool quotes, so I forwarded them to the guys at work. Â A few of them sincerely appreciated my sending them and told me so, so I kept doing it for a while.Â Then one day I stopped!? Â Boy did I hear about itâ€¦they, even the cynical ones, complained about missing it, wanting it, and even needing it.Â Many told me that they forwarded them to others who also counted on receiving the daily dose of inspiration to help replenish their empty buckets.
Today I hear from leaders around the globe who receive the T4D and who forward it to their teams, and who are using it in their own journey of cultural leadership as they seek to inspire their people and to bring more good feelings and flavor into the kitchens of their culture.
Here is an example of a T4D I used in the past that generated a pleasantly surprising response from leaders who shared it with their teams.
Today is the first day of the rest of our lives!Â That’s right today is the first day…and everything after today is what’s left of our lives. So far I have burned through 42 years of my candle and I’m not sure how much is left.Â I will admit that often that candle did not burn as brightly as it might have…but hey, let us not waste any of our candle today burning time on something as un-motivating as regrets.
Instead I invite you to join me and let’s re-commit ourselves to burning brightly, and to letting our candles shine for all the world to see.Â Let’s not feel the need to tone it down a bit because people might wonder why we’re so happy, so positive, so optimistic….let’s just go for it and decide RIGHT NOW that we are going to look for the good in people, and the good in life NO Matter WHAT!
Let’s decide right and commit ourselves to the idea and ideal that we want everyone who walks away from any type of interaction with us…walks away feeling a bit better about themselves, their value, and their potential. The Boy Scouts encourage and teach their scouts to leave every campground better than they find it.
Let’s take the same principle and apply it to our relationships…starting again today!!Â Leave every person and every interaction with every person better than it was before.Â Let them be walking away from us with a little more hope, a slight skip in their step, and a smile on their face…because we took a moment to connect more deeply, care more sincerely, and live more fully. We can do this… I’m committed…are you? Ok then, let’s Go for it, Let’s Grow for it!!
Cooking Up Great Culture â€“ Itâ€™s Just What Leaders DO!
Kirk Out : )Â Be sure to check out my new semi-sweet website www.thecookiethiefbook.com