How can you judge your impact?

Now that we’ve discussed the nature of reality, the fluidity of many processes, the complexity of our current systems that connect so many actors and factors – how can you judge your impact in a nonlinear system? How can you determine that you don’t make a difference – or that you do? That’s the question.

How can you judge you don’t make a difference - in a nonlinear reality? Click To Tweet

You can’t predict all the outcomes of your actions. That one thing you said or did, made someone else change their mind. There was a response in the system – that interacted with something else – and it surely has an outcome somewhere in the system. How great or where and when that impact is, is often beyond your sight and judgment.

Lollipop moments

Drew Dudley, a leadership coach, states that we all have changed someone’s life – usually without even realizing it. He accidentally had a positive impact on a girl’s life that he didn’t even know.

On the day she was checking out a university with her parents, she felt terrible and thought she couldn’t do it – she wasn’t ready. They had discussed her anxiety before and her parents reassured her that the minute she decided she didn’t want to go to university, they’d go home and love her all the same. No pressure!

The girl says: “We visited the campus and then I made the decision to not go to university and I felt peaceful immediately. But before I could open my mouth to tell my parents, the door swung open and Dudley stepped out with a bucket of lollipops, handing them out to the visiting students and parents. He stopped in front of me and stared at me – then he turned to the guy next to me and said: “Please give this beautiful young lady a lollipop”.

The guy was so shy and embarrassed that I quickly took the lollipop from him just to save the poor guy – and then Dudley said pretty loud to my parents: “First day from home and she’s already taking candy from strangers!”.

Everyone around us burst out laughing – and the minute that happened – I felt I was perfectly at home at this university and that I would stay.” Dudley had a huge impact on her life – she told him later when they accidentally met again. She also married the guy who stood next to her…

Dudley says: “I didn’t even remember the lollipop moment when she told me about it. So this is what happens: there must be many more lollipop moments when we impact others – and we’re not even aware.”
Do you remember your lollipop moments, when someone’s random comment led you to make another decision – or how accidentally being in the right place at the right time proved to be decisive for the turn your career took? Instead of your laborious planning and plotting… there emerged a chain of events…

Do you remember your lollipop moments that changed your path? Click To Tweet

Please share your lollipop moments in the comments! I look forward to hearing from you.

This is book post # 11 – level: ME

Here’s the earlier post
Here‘s the next post

If you’re confused – please start with post #1 or check the Positive Power overview and read the Positive Agent Manifesto.

Leaders, employees, consultants, citizens – everyone can make a positive difference from any position, without needing permission or resources from others. This blog will help you see positive possibilities and (re)claim your positive agency. Unstuck yourself and engage others via your interaction and actions. Transform into a positive organization where people and performance thrive.

I’m blogging my next book: “Positive Power at Work – How to make a positive difference from any position.” Your feedback is appreciated!

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Jennifer Beth Blake

    A friend, who I have known since I was 11 years old (we are now in our 50’s), recently shared with me that if it wasn’t for something that I said to her when we were in our 20’s, she believes that she would never have started her own children’s nursery business in 2010!

    I only have a vague recollection of the discussion we had that night, but she says that it had a huge impact on her. She was able to squirrel away what I had said back then; and then when the opportunity came to take action and move forward with her plan (even after 30 years!) , she was able to take the leap!

    Wow! I was gobsmacked, to be honest. I’m so glad that she told me about this as in most cases we may not always know what impact we have on people’s lives. What she shared has certainly reminded me of the impact my words and actions can have on others.

  2. Wg Cdr (Dr)A K Srinivas

    Thanks for creating positive vibes around the people who got in touch with you especially virtually.
    Wg Cdr (Dr) Srinivas

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