She / He lived a life that was impactful.
I think most of us want those words to be spoken in our eulogies. Actively impacting the world, the community, the people in our lives is a noble and life affirming mission. But how can we take stock of our impact right now, while we're in the thick of it so that we can build that influence and truly live an impactful life?
Asking a few simple questions regularly can keep your eyes on the greater good and keep you from getting mired down in the daily minutiae that, in the end, will not be what you remember in your older age, nor will that be what you are remembered for.
Here are 4 questions to ask (and re-ask) yourself to assess your current impact and strategically plan to grow and sustain that impact from this point forward.
1. ARE YOU MAKING THINGS BETTER FOR THE PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE?
Every day you have the opportunity to greet challenges with grace and vision or with resistance and combativeness. Assessing your leadership style accurately and honestly and choosing to be a great leader by making strong, benevolent choices will grow your influence and deepen the bonds between you and everyone in your scope. Getting an accurate read on your leadership style can be especially difficult if you are already in a position of power and influence. a 360 peer review is a tool that can help with this.
2. ARE YOU ACTIVELY IMPROVING THE ORGANIZATION YOU WORK WITH?
What are the vision, mission and values of your organization and how do you embody those every day? When leaders fall out of step with the higher mission of the company they cannot make an impact, nor can their teams. Alignment with the company's vision allows teams to work seamlessly together, across departments and as independent units. As a leader, whatever your title, understanding the company's mission and creating ways to remind your team members of that mission makes you an influencer, positively impacting the success of the company and everyone within it.
3. ARE YOU ACTIVELY IMPROVING YOURSELF?
You can only achieve success commensurate to the effort you are putting in to being your best self. Time spend in seminars, learning opportunities and engaging in mind-opening activities will yield focused attention at work, at home and in all aspects of your life. Becoming a better person will necessitate becoming a better leader. The one, however, must precede the other.
4. ARE YOU MAKING THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE?
Great leaders give back. Ask not what the world can do for you, but what you can do for the world. Having a cause that is greater than oneself keeps our eyes up, our vision clear and our minds and hearts open. When people feel your passion for altruism, they will be inspired, moved... impacted. Follow your passion or pick a charity that would positively impact someone in your life and watch how the more you give... the more you'll lead a truly impactful life.