Have you ever felt overlooked?
Have you ever secretly wished that people would notice you more?
Have you ever been frustrated because someone else took credit for something that you did?
I’ll be honest–I can answer “yes” to all of those questions. But a couple of months ago, I learned a valuable lesson from a fascinating leader named Bob Goff: being noticed isn’t really all that important. Your popularity doesn’t define your purpose, and becoming well-known isn’t a prerequisite for making an impact.
Of course, it’s possible to look at someone like Steve Jobs and think otherwise. Obviously, his life (and death) made a huge impact on the world. He did great things AND he was known worldwide–that’s incredible, right? But there are millions of other heroes in the world apart from the ones profiled in magazines and they’re no less incredible.
Goff wrote a great post about “secretly incredible leadership” on the Catalyst site a couple of months ago, and I still think about it often.
Here’s an excerpt:
Secretly Incredible Leadership
By Bob Goff
These days, it’s tempting to size your impact on the world by how many Twitter followers you have. Or unique hits to your blog. Or people in your pews. Or revenue targets achieved. Or whatever. It’s always been this way, I guess, though the metrics we use are always changing.
I believe we’re all hardwired pretty much the same way—to want recognition and praise, to be affirmed for the good work we’re doing. There’s nothing inherently wrong with it, but too often we make praise the point.
I think God operates in a totally different economy, one that’s not dependent on optimizing search engines, percentages, or any other feathers in our cap. Instead, I think God’s smile is the biggest when we are secretly incredible and when our leadership changes one life or a thousand lives without a lot of fanfare.
There is an old friend of mine, Don, who’s since gone home to be with God—he was secretly incredible.
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When you’re done reading the post, come back and let me know what you think! Were you inspired? Encouraged? Challenged? How did it make you feel?