There are some lessons that you will never learn on your own. That’s the importance of giving back, and when I say that I mean giving back time. There’s nothing in life that can be achieved independently, and I can honestly say that I would not have achieved any of the milestones in my career without the amazing mentors that I have. And the best way for me to thank them is to pay it forward. With that said, let me tell you a brief story about a chance encounter….
One afternoon at work I was reviewing resumes for a position that we were hiring for when I came across one application that stood out. The candidate didn’t meet the initial qualifications for the job posting, but still everything in me wanted to reach out…so I did! I called them up and told them that I thought that they were fabulous and on the right track. I emphasized the fact that even though I could not interview them for the position that they originally applied for, that it should not cause them to stop reaching for the stars and working to make their career dreams come true. The applicant reminded me so much of a younger version of myself, and I knew deep down that reaching out was the right thing to do. It turns out, that my phone call was exactly what they needed to hear to keep them encouraged to press forward.
While it might not seem like it was a big deal, it really was. I took a leap of faith in my decision, and I know that it will yield great rewards. I am paying it forward the best way that I know how. I think that is the #1 rule on anyone’s leadership journey (or at least top 3-5)…ALWAYS make time to pay it forward. If someone had not taken the time with me or with you, where would we be now? I want that to be my lasting legacy. I want someone to be able to speak about how I helped them reach their own greatness without worrying about it interfering with my own. There’s room at the table for everyone!