Leadership to Change the World

Recently, I did something that changed the world. It might have been an encouraging word, a provocative question, a smile.

But honestly, I have no idea what it was.

Recently, you did something that changed the world. It might have been an offer to help, an attentive ear, a cup of coffee.

But you, like me, probably don’t know exactly what you did either.

You see, everything we do can either breathe life or death, hope or despair into the people around us. And when we change the people around us by acting differently, we indeed change the world.

Across my spectrum of professional roles, I work with myriad college students, business executives and military personnel. Most of that deals with the function of human resources or the academic field of organizational behavior.

Regardless, the common element across it all is leadership.

Unfortunately, though, leadership has been over-glorified as something momentous. It’s not. It’s often more about perspiration—empathy-driven hard work—than inspiration. Most of the time, it has to do with “lollipop moments.”

Take a moment to learn about that from Drew Dudley in the video below.

If we’re to change the world—or put a “dent in the universe” as Steve Jobs once said—we must start by examining our interactions with those around us.

Are we using those opportunities to life each other up, to make each other’s universe a little more hospitable?

We spend most of our waking hours at work. So if we really want to make a difference in the world, we should start by focusing on how we ourselves can be positive forces of disruption in our organizations.

And if enough people started thinking that way in an organization—about each other, about their customers, about the work itself—they’d be unstoppable. They’d be able to sense and respond quickly to change, displaying a level of agility that most organizations would find impossible. They'd be engaged, driven by purpose. 

Your leadership doesn’t have to be big. It could start with something small—like a lollipop.

What are some little ways in which we can change our world at work? Leave a comment below!

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About Ben Baran
Ben Baran, Ph.D., is probably one of the few people in the world who is equally comfortable in a university classroom, a corporate boardroom and in full body armor carrying a U.S. government-issued M4 assault rifle. Visit: www.benbaran.com