“We all influence someone, the question is, are we influencing well?”
A soft breeze rustled the bluebird wind chime hanging from my office porch. I listened to its tinkling melody and contemplated the definition of one of my favorite words—exceptional.
I use it as a filter for pretty much everything I do. Now, do not misunderstand, exceptional does not mean perfect! But it does mean investing yourself in intentional efforts to go above and beyond the norm with the objective of achieving extraordinary results. I’m always looking for ways to make leadership, productivity, performance, processes, training, communication, marketing, customer care, relationships (personal as well as professional), and of course, profits, exceptional.
And for me, exceptional means focusing on others, not just thinking about yourself. As I say so often, “What I do is about souls not sales—if I take care of the souls, the sales will take care of themselves. People have no problem paying for real help.”
If you know me at all, you’ll understand my passion for delving into the deeper meanings and origins of words. I guess it’s the writer and speaker in me. But depending on what dictionary you use, definitions for the word “exceptional” will reflect identities like this:
1. unusual, uncommon, abnormal, atypical, extraordinary, out of the ordinary, out of the way, rare, singular, unprecedented, unexpected, surprising; strange, odd, queer, bizarre, freakish, anomalous, peculiar, inconsistent, deviant, divergent, aberrant, unheard of; British out of the common; informal weird, way out, freaky, something else; dated seldom; rare unexampled. ANTONYMS usual, normal
2. outstanding, extraordinary, remarkable, unusually good, special, especial, excellent, phenomenal, prodigious; unequaled, unparalleled, unrivaled, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, unexcelled, peerless, matchless, second to none, in a league of their own, first-rate, first-class, of the first order, of the first water; informal A1, top-notch, tip-top, stellar. ANTONYMS average
Some words especially resonate with me: uncommon, extraordinary, unexpected, unheard of, rare, outstanding, remarkable, unusually good, excellent, phenomenal, unparalleled, unrivaled, unsurpassable, matchless. I don’t know about you, but when I die, I hope at least a handful of people use some of these descriptors about the way I lived my life and the impact I made.
Recently, an unexpected conflict reminded me to renew a commitment I made to myself at a younger age. As a business and community leader, but also as a leader among my family and friends, I need to keep this message in mind. For millennia, wise leaders have understood the power of its script. This ancient wisdom resonates with those of us who want to live and lead exceptionally! It says:
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”
This is what I know—whether you are leading a multi-billion-dollar organization, helping guide your community, or teaching your children or grandchildren, influencing with excellence matters. As leaders, whether at home or at work, we are influencing others. It could be our spouses, our children, our direct reports, our co-workers, our supervisors, our customers, or the world at large.
And we need to remember that we all become the most like those we spend the most time with. So, people who spend periods of their waking hours with us, are being influenced by our words and our behaviors.
Where do you spend most of your waking hours? With whom? And how are you influencing them, as well as allowing them to influence you?
It does matter whether we exhibit “uncommon, extraordinary, rare, unexpected, remarkable, phenomenal, unequalled, or matchless” leadership. People are watching us and mimicking the examples we set. And usually, much more than we realize.
What kind of impact do you want to make? If I have a choice, the souls I touch will say, “She inspired me to act exceptionally well.”
AnitaThe P4 Power Coach™