As I move into my fourth year as the CEO of Johnson Health Center and the President of Impact2Lead, I find myself reflecting more on what I continue to learn versus what I build and teach. I am fortunate that both organizations have enjoyed enormous growth and success not only in terms of expanded business and services but the development of people.
During a CEO Roundtable meeting I presented at in 2016, the discussion centered on these C-Suite leaders’ ability to impact performance at their organizations. It was interesting to hear the varied perceptions of impact and how each person described how their impact was being delivered. The takeaway for me that day was simply this; everyone around the table at this conference had been given responsibility for others. In other words, everyone had made some level of impact.
Over the next several months, the concept of making an impact stuck with me but it didn’t fire me up. In my mind, making an impact should just come natural for those who have a passion for making a difference in the lives of others…then it hit me.
In August of 2014, I stood in front of the entire staff of the Johnson Health Center for the first time as their interim CEO (was appointed CEO in February of 2015). The room was full of wide-eyed people who hung on every word from a guy who, from the industry standpoint, knew little to nothing about running a health center.
I calmly let them know that starting this day, we were going to make it about the employees and create the best place to work in the community. To do this, I would need all of their help. This resonated well with them and while making it about the employees certainly piqued their interest, it was the last thing I said before ending the meeting that created the buzz. I told them the future was in our hands and I challenged the staff to take ownership of our destiny, of their destiny. I closed by saying we had two choices here, either we own it or someone will own it for us.
Once I had the first two legs of this foundation in place (impact, destiny), it was only natural that I began to look ahead on the type of legacy I wanted to leave, a legacy while I was still alive.
In other words, I want to be around when my day is done to look back on what I hope has been a positive contribution to humanity and those closest to me.
That’s how I came up with the foundational components of leading a fulfilling life whether it be professionally, personally or hopefully both.
Here are some thoughts as you map out your own journey:
Making an Impact
- Strive to positively make a difference in the life of someone else
- Be a mentor, role model, encourager, and put others first
- Listen with authentic intention
- Take on projects, volunteer, offer assistance, give generously, protect and nurture your personal brand
Own Your Destiny
- Take ownership in the role you play in life and at work
- Be accountable for your actions
- Control what you can control
- Map out what your organization’s/personal destiny looks like from today's view and identify your vision to assure success right where you are and where you want to be. List the obstacles that stand in your way
Leave a Legacy
(while you are living)
- Identify the most influential person in your life and the character traits that have inspired and led you
- Picture yourself sitting at a celebration ceremony surrounded by family, friends and strangers who each give a testimonial on a personal interaction with you and the difference you have made in their lives
- Envision your older self, sitting across the table from the person or persons you love the most, looking into their eyes and talking about your life. Know today how you want that conversation to go
I incorporate this teaching in my leadership development work these days. Each time the words impact, destiny and legacy come out of my mouth, it moves emotion within me. I hope it stirs emotion and commitment in you.
At Johnson Health Center and Impact2lead, my teams and I work hard to help others unleash potential. This legacy buildout in process will hopefully translate into more people achieving their own dreams.
At the beginning and end of the day, it is about helping others get along better in life. Let this be part of your legacy and know it is never too late to start making an impact and taking ownership of your destiny.
To your Impact,