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Letter to Leaders

You Don't Know How Important You Are

There’s an inevitability about change. It’s always there, until it’s not.

We get mentally trapped when things are good; we want it to stay that way forever, even though we know it won’t (or can’t).

Since 1990, I’ve done presentations and training sessions. I draw energy from them, feed off of the participants’ energy. Every presentation, speech or training session I did was in person.

Until they weren’t.

Ask any teacher, professional speaker or trainer: is it better in person or on a zoom call? I suspect it’s 80/20 in favor of in person.

But things changed in 2020. We weren’t given a choice.

Training 20 or 30 faces on a screen is harder than you might think. But you make it work.

You make it work because there’s no alternative.

That’s the inevitability of change.

Leadership is the same way. Most day-to-day managers find it much easier to lead when everyone’s in the office than when separated.

Your responsibility is to be an effective, impactful leader. It is the same whether your direct reports are in front of you or in Canada. You make it work because there’s no alternative.

If your employees are on-site with you, count your blessings. If your employees are hybrid or remote, you’ll figure it out. Or you won’t.

But I’d leave you with this:

Never forget the impact you have no matter where you are.

There's an inevitability about change.

Right after college, I worked in a restaurant for about two years. This was 40 years ago. I remember the names of the owner, General Manager, and two restaurant managers. Much of what I learned about leadership was by watching them.

I remember the name of the manager who hired me for my first ‘real’ job. In that office, there was an Assistant Manager and a Supervisor. I remember them two. This was in 1986.

Most managers don’t realize they have that type of impact. But you do. Regardless of where you are, you have it. Leadership is your opportunity to impact others.

Change is inevitable. But the impact you have is transcendent.

Will they remember you 40 years from now?

No matter where you are and where they are, make that impact. You don’t realize how important you are. But you are.


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