It has been a tough 2020. I don’t need to list the reasons why – you all are experiencing this challenging time. No matter where you are from, it’s important to remember the reasons why we smile.
Throughout this quarantine and time of unrest I have shared ways I have tried to have an impact, no matter how small. I have heard from many of you about the simple ways you are doing the same.
With the isolation and minimal human contact, sometimes you can wonder what impact you really have. So when you find out – it really lands.
A few weeks ago I received an email from a student who was in my first ever semester teaching at NYU – back in 2005! He updated me on his life and success as an entrepreneur and then wrote this:
“I’ve basically come to the realization that I owe almost all my success to your class and Dale Carnegie. I’ve been thinking about your class a lot lately as the biggest professional challenges we face either stem from or can be resolved by more effective organizational communication. You told us this of course and while I’m proud that I got an A, I wish I could do it all over again.”
WOW! What a gift to receive an email like that 15 years later! And I told him as much when we caught up on the phone for over an hour and half.
He now manages a team of over 70 people and growing and keeps thinking about being a good manager. He says he wonders how I was so successful in managing that class that all the success he has had come from it including the relationship with his business partner.
A fascinating question. I never thought of myself as a manager of that class – but of course I was. My answer was to admit I entered that class with equal parts excitement and terror. I was beyond excited to be fulfilling a dream to teach at the university level and completely terrified that I had no idea what I was doing.
I believe that balance between the desire to do a great job and acknowledgement that I didn’t know it all is the reason it worked.
So this email has stayed with me and made me think – and when that happens, I tend to share 😊.
So if there is someone who has had an impact on you, no matter how long ago it was – tell them. It is so nice to know how you have made a difference and to know that the things you do matter. It’s never too late to let them know!
Keep approaching things with excitement, fear and kindness.