The Question I’ve Never Asked
Two young men, in a small coffee shop, taught me about leadership.
George and Tyler left on Christmas Eve to serve at a children’s home in Beirut. They’re back for classes. Yesterday, we met to talk.
During our conversation, I asked a question I’ve never asked.
Overseas travel is new to Tyler. George has been abroad several times. This was George’s second trip to the children’s home.
I was curious about highlights and lowlights. “What happened on your trip?” But, things got rolling when I asked the question I’ve never asked.
“How would you like others to be different after hearing your story?”
I wanted them to think of themselves as men of influence.
Leaders think of themselves with others in mind.
Tyler went first. George is a muller.
“I want them to be ready to say yes. Take chances. Don’t put things off.” Tyler said.
We talked about leadership and life principles, while George mulled.
Believe you can:
“I want them to believe they can,” George said.
George heard about the children’s home a couple years ago. There was no organization or group trip. He made the connections and made it happen.
I asked, “What got you started in the first place?
“I was excited to teach welding?” George said. (He went to Beirut because of his passion for welding.)
I said, “Isn’t it interesting where a passion to teach welding can take someone?” We talked for a while about using our passions in service to others.
George’s enthusiasm for welding has grown to passion for Middle Eastern culture and a children’s home in Beirut.
He came home thinking about the next time he gets to go back.
Leadership lessons from the coffee shop:
- Say yes.
- Believe you can.
- Follow your passion.
Passion thinks next time.
What surprising place has your passion taken you?
How would you like others to be different because of your story?
Wow. Good one.
What a great post, Dan. Thank you for challenging me to make my story meaningful and significant. I get to make part of that story today.
Thanks Derek. Yes! We write our story today. 🙂 Love it.
Being able to adapt has driven me to where I am today, accepted assignments responsibilities or tasks as required to achieve and attain end results. Always striving for the best giving 100% whether liking the assignment or not. Showing pride in my work has stood out for me, as others would see the way things should be done and follow suit, because they soon began to care about good end results, becomes a “win, win’ solution for all!
My word of advise is “don’t be afraid to make mistakes, but if you do own them, and make it right”!
Thanks Tim. You carry a bucket of wisdom with you, everywhere you go! Glad you stopped in.
I’m with you everyday, ;lately listening to others to hear their stories, trials and tribulations!
My passion for wellness programs that are evidence-based grew out of the frustration I felt for clients when working with them on their benefits programs. After seeing too many companies not make the connection that their wellness/wellbeing program can be a key differentiator for them and often throwing dollars at programs that don’t work, I’m on a mission to build programs that support a company’s values and vision and that will help them create an environment where teams can thrive.
I didn’t begin my career in the wellness world, but the questions I started asking about the root causes of higher claims costs, higher worker’s comp costs, the impact of culture and employee turnover costs led me to where I am today.
Thanks Mim. Isn’t it interesting that we seldom end up where we set out to go. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your journey.
Great story Dan, Well done to George and Tyler (Whichever is the funny looking one), we need more of you.
My passion takes me everywhere and it’s always a surprise because we can’t expect anything, I’m more and more grateful every day.
My hope is that I might inspire others to ‘just do it’, with heart and a belief in themselves and those around them.
I spent 7 hours yesterday with a long time friend after he hadt received a significant award at a luncheon held in his honour in recognition of his contribution to the food industry in North America, and who lost his wife 6 moths ago. sitting in my lounge with a bottle of Pinot noir – chewing many many things over for 7 hours – we reflected on how amazing life is that from a meeting 30 years ago in NZ I end up down the road from where he has his ‘retirement speech’ in Portland. It was a very moving and amazing afternoon brought about because of our shared passions for food, people, travel and love.
Thanks Richard. Your addition to “just do it” is powerful… “with heart and belief….” Love that!
The idea of expectation is useful. We might want to “expect” a certain thing or outcome. But, in the context of this blog, it’s better to expect to use our passion in service to others…then the outcome takes care of itself.
Congrats to your friend. He’s fortunate to have you.
I love this post, Dan. Incredible, yet simple wisdom. Excellent!
Thanks, Dan! This article struck a chord with me for 2 reasons:
First, I just retired from the Federal govt after 34 years of service. I felt like I was making a difference, yet wanted to try something new while I have energy, passion & interest. I am very fortunate to have been hired by a company that has a primary focus of making a difference in people’s lives. In the end, I took a risk to say yes to a new opportunity & I am now bringing my passion to bear right away.
Second, great piece of wisdom to share with my 2 college age sons as they return to school for the Spring semester! They are fortunately both on a good track & this article will both reinforce what we have taught as parents & also hopefully plant some seeds as they move forward on their own life journey. 🙂
Thanks Bob. Your comment is invigorating. I love reading about how you said “yes” to a new focus.
Isn’t it great to see your sons on a good track?
Best for the journey.
Love the question Dan!
Bob Hancox President Clarity Development Consulting Inc. bobhancox.com 2396 Mill Road, Nanaimo, BC V9R 6M9 Office: 250.754.4840 Cell: 250.668.7551 “Our mission in life is to make a positive difference.” Peter Drucker
Really Dan its a great post. when stories coming from street in context of leadership and which is talking of social intellect compassion with selfless leadership.
What prompts people for such acts , what makes them to think like this, How do they realise in this direction knowingly or unknowingly and why, What makes passionate people to behave like this.
What chemical entities in brain are responsible for such kind of bold steps?
Its simple execution of an simple ideas in great fashion at right time as you have understand boys temperament at right time.
Execution of simple ideas with a passion with high understanding redefine locally to globally.
Thanks Crazy. I’m all about simple. Complexity is a bottle neck. Love the challenge to execute on a simple idea with passion.
Who would have thought that welding could lead to something greater? We all have something to offer, but many times our own limiting beliefs are holding us back. We say, “Why would anyone care about _________?” When what we should be asking is, “What would happen if I shared __________ with others? How could they then change their own future?” How could you answer those questions today?
Thanks Jay. I love “What would happen if I shared _______ with others?” That’s forward looking and reflects belief.
Limiting beliefs must be one of the most deadly limitations we encounter.
Love this question, Dan! Great perspective to remain intentional about using our words.
Imagine… what if every word we used cost us one million dollars.
By spending our words wisely, each of us can make a difference – not just make a point.
Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks Trish. I hadn’t thought of comparing words to dollars. What a thought. Spend your words carefully. 🙂
Enjoyed this post, Dan. It is inspiring to see someone taking the wish or idea and putting it into action. Their example reminds us that we can all have an impact. Jay’s point is also great – regardless of means or abilities, focus on what can happen, not worrying about what cannot. Everybody has something they can share.
Thanks for sharing this!