The Power of One

Last night I was privy to a pre-game speech by a college coach that really made me think about what I call the “Power of One”. He spoke of Martin Luther King and the impact his confidence, beliefs, passion, and his resilience had on a nation, and one could argue, the entire world. His focus was that MLK never flinched in the face of adversity and danger. His intimacy with his purpose drove him to change the world.  I can’t think of a better definition for the “Power of One”.

I used to give a talk to groups called, “The Difference is You”. I tried to make the case that EVERYONE makes a difference. The question is what kind of a difference do we make? And how do we make certain that we are making the kind of difference we will be proud of?

As sales people, sales leaders, managers in a company, parents, teachers, or community leaders, we have the chance every day to make a difference in the lives of those that we touch. That is indeed the “Power of One”.  How much of a difference can you make? Certainly any of us can change a life by our positive encouragement. Stuart Cathy, the founder of Chick Fil A, once said, “How do you know a person needs encouragement? They are breathing.”  We all need encouragement. We all need someone that we like, trust and admire to help us see the difference we can make if we just realize the greatness that is within us.

Last night I called one of the great mentors in my life, Don Cutcliff. Don was my Regional Sales Manager when I was a District Manager. He was a fabulous sales leader and I learned so much from him. Many years ago I also had a 2 minute conversation with him that totally changed my life. He saw possibilities in my potential that I did not. Without him encouraging me and believing in me I likely would never have had the career I have had. I feel a huge debt of gratitude to a man who was just being his best self. It is who he is. I am seeing him next week while I am in Tampa on business and I will likely have a hard time not being emotional when I see him because of the profound impact he had on me as a mentor. He understood the “Power of One.”

Three weeks ago I called my very first Regional Manager, Gene Vezina.  Gene also had a huge impact on my development. Both of these incredible leaders were people builders. I know I was not the only person they helped to achieve huge success and expanded possibilities- they did it to hundreds. You see the “Power of One” really isn’t about one individual, rather it’s about many!

The “Power of One” is one of the most potent powers each of us possesses. You can make a difference in the lives of those around you if you practice encouragement and make the commitment to be a people builder. My charge to you is to decide how you will utilize your “Power of One” to positively change the lives of those around you.  Once you do, your life will also be positively impacted by watching and sharing in the success of those whom you have encouraged and supported.