Do unto others, what you would have them do unto you – Jesus
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. ― Maya Angelou
This quote from Maya Angelou has been running through my head a lot lately. It applies in many arenas of life.
Much of leadership is how we make people feel.
We inspire, encourage and correct.
I will never forget a time when I was going through a rough patch while in graduate school. Finances were limited, my course load was increasing, people I loved were having relational issues that were affecting the entire family and I was 1600 miles from home. I felt as if I was facing these challenges all alone.
Jay Kesler, the then President of Taylor University, was visiting campus for some speaking engagements. I was hurriedly going from one class to the next. I saw Dr. Kesler coming towards me on the sidewalk. He was by himself. As he saw me, his face lit up with a magnificent smile and he said, “Hello, how are you today?” I returned the smile and said, “Fine, thank you.” Of course, I wasn’t fine given the circumstances, but that day, the load seemed a little lighter. I don’t remember any of his lectures on campus. But to this day, I remember the sidewalk encounter and how it made me feel. I felt that I was not alone. An easy thing to do that had powerful impact.
Sometimes leadership is not about budgets and vision and grandiose schemes.
Sometimes, leadership is a smile on a sidewalk to a fellow human being.