By Andy Wimberly
I talked with two different people this week and both had very similar stories about their sports history. One was on his high school basketball team several years ago, and admitted he was one of the worst of the 14 man squad—couldn’t shoot, bad dribbler and not very good on defense, yet he was elected team captain.
The other is currently a major college baseball player, is not a starter and is not even close to being one of the better players on the team, yet he was elected team captain and leader this, his senior year.
I ask myself why the teams would not elect the highest scorer, the most valuable player, or the one with the highest batting average. What did these two athletes do or have that made them gain the respect of the team and the coaches to be elected captain and leader?
Here is my conclusion. Both these athletes were DIFFERENCE MAKERS!
My paraphrased definition of a difference maker: “A difference maker engages others to bring out their best efforts. A difference maker has the invisible energy that mobilizes energies and liberates people to achieve their full potential that they never dreamed possible”.
Want to make someone’s day? Whether it is your school, church, where you work, your team, charity or family, there is probably someone right in the middle of things who are making a difference. When you identify them as a difference maker, go tell them. One of the highest compliments that can be paid to someone is to tell him/her that they are a difference maker.
Need some help in identifying a difference maker?
Here are a few of the characteristics of a difference maker:
- They possess humility. They don’t care who gets the credit. It is never about them—it is always about you. There is no bragging, and no complaining.
- They are people persons. They build relationships. They ask a lot of questions. They really listen to the answers and learn what the real issues are. Then they go about solving the problems.
- They reach out. They give and give and give and give. Not just their money, but also their time, talents, their hearts, and their passion.
- Christianity is their base. They stand strong in their beliefs and their convictions. Their faith does not waver.
Can you and I become DIFFERENCE MAKERS? Maybe. But we have to start the difference-maker journey first. Here are three simple, but not easy, habits to do to start making a difference and putting you on the road to being a difference maker.
- Make a phone call. Have no agenda but just to say hi, to catch up, and to let them know you have been thinking about them. Don’t tell them about what is happening in your life; ask them what’s been happening in their life. Make it all about them, not you.
- Write a note. A handwritten note just saying how much you appreciate them, how much you value them, miss seeing them, how important they are to your church, job, neighborhood, or charity. Tell them the good job they are doing as a role model, leader, organizer, or whatever they are gifted in.
- Compliment someone. Take the time and effort to compliment someone on a job well done—the project they landed, how healthy they look, how wonderful their yard looks, and how they remain calm and yet have so many irons in the fire. Sincere compliments are powerful motivators, energizers and relationship building tools. The compliment multiplies when you make the compliment public—give the compliment in front of several people.
In previous articles, we have written about these three simple habits that will make a difference in your life and the lives of others, but what will really happen if you actually start a habit of doing these habits is that you too can become A DIFFERENCE MAKER!
Join the “THUMBS UP CLUB”
Next time you see me and if you’ve done at least one of these habits that week, give me a great ole big THUMBS UP! Then stop me, or email me, and tell me how you felt after doing it and how you think the recipient felt. Both of you I bet were riding pretty high!
Wimberly & Associates are executive coaches and financial advisors. They help individuals and businesses live better lives and reach their full potential. They use THE DISCOVERY PROCESS to provide vision, clarity and direction. firstname.lastname@example.org