At the recent Florida Attractions Association conference, we got to hear from Brett Culp, an award-winning filmmaker who helps tell the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. One of his main messages was about impact, and the fact that you never know when or how your impact will be felt.
I had an experience at that very same conference that proves this theory.
One of the breakout sessions was lead by my colleague and good friend, Josh Liebman. Josh and I have known each other for years through various industry endeavors, and currently we get to work together through my partnership with Amusement Advantage and his role as their Director of Business Development. He was also one of my very first guests on #3 Questions.
At the conference, his breakout session topic was “Create Guest Loyalty and Exceed Expectations” – something I know he knows a lot about, so I was excited to go to his session to support him and learn from him.
Since doing presentations like this is not something he does everyday, he asked me to give him some feedback on his session.
Josh is a natural. He had great content, spoke from the heart and engaged the audience. After his presentation, we talked about some small improvements he could make for next time, but overall he did a very good job. He then shared with me that one of the conference interns told him she was impressed by his public speaking skills and asked where he learned how to do it.
He said he did it by watching me.
I was blown away. I don’t share this to be boastful or to brag. I share this because I truly didn’t know that I was having this kind of impact on someone. And my internal reaction was somewhat surprising. I discounted it.
I thought, surely he had some other resources besides me! He’s got natural skills, no way I had that much influence over his speaking style. He just gave me a huge compliment, and I didn’t know how to take it.
There are a few lessons here.
- Know that your impact may not be known to you for many years (if at all), but you are making a difference. Leaders (like teachers and parents) are shaping the view and work ethic of others. They will follow your lead if you make it compelling enough. If YOU believe that what you are doing is IMPORTANT, they will too. They may never tell you outright, but just know that somewhere down the line, a former employee is following your example (so make it positive!)
- Take the compliment! For someone who talks about giving compliments and feedback on a regular basis, I had a hard time receiving it. If this is you, own it and accept it. Let yourself be complimented on something outstanding that you did. Resist the temptation to squash their recognition efforts by saying something like, “oh, it was nothing”. To them, it was something.
The big lesson here is to keep on keepin’ on. By doing the right things now, you are setting the example for how people will behave in the future. There is no expiration date on the impact you are making.
Thanks for reading!
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