It may be the age I am getting into, but I have been thinking a lot about impact. Just in case you are wondering, my age sits between “oh you’re not that old” to “dang, you need a nap?” I guess in a way, age is as much of a perspective measurement as impact is.
In my early days of the industry, I walked into a room where my leaders were pushing in their 40s. Me, much younger and much more naïve, I couldn't imagine what someone of that age would be doing still hanging around in this industry. Like I said, naïve. Luckily my perception of their age didn’t negatively affect my impression of the impact they could have on my life. Many years later I have learned so much from these men professionally and personally. And as fate would have it, I still get to learn from these leaders on a daily encounter, but man have they aged.
As I reminisce of those days and the lessons learned by those countless that have impacted me, I wonder how my impact has been on others. I shy away from receiving direct positive feedback but hope that I have been able to successfully advise on a few path corrections in my interactions. The burning question still lingers in my head. Why do I, and others, seek impact? And while we are at it, how do we as leaders coach to positively impact better those around us?
How to Determine Your Impact
There are those who seek normalcy to fit in. Those who are told at hire they are getting X dollars an hour, but since they are new, they only know part of the job and therefore are getting paid the full amount without being able to perform the full job yet. They are motivated by the need to pay attention and catch up to earn what they are making. Their impact on the team is catching up so they do not make waves. Your impact to them was to show them their path to do so. These types are typically described as “S” in the DISC model.
There are those in our business who want to impact the bottom line. The sales professionals connect products and services to people, focusing on ticket average, service percentages and car counts. They are typically “I” personalities and DISC profile and feed off the customer interactions and opportunities. The “D” personalities also feed off the ticket averages, but are less motivated by the interaction, instead the task of getting it done makes them tick. The accounting types, or “C” in the DISC, are those who desire to fill out the morning paperwork and can be found counting and straightening the inventory. These are impacted by the ability to make the numbers match which shows the opportunities of different ways to move the needle further.
As a whole, all of these are great and needed places in our business. The ones who seek out impact in the relationships are the ones that are more cherished in my eyes. They may seem to stray from the game plan, pushing aside monetary profit to teach, preach and reach. These are the people who love our PM side of the industry more than anything. Not for the ease of the jobs, but the access to the raw or unpolished talent pool. Like a bamboo farmer, they tend to the needs of the unseen for a very long time, trusting the process they have labored over will eventually sprout almost out of control and provide comfort in knowing their dedication worked.
Our young and inexperienced workforce needs our guidance, wisdom and patience. I can’t count how many times my mentor Pete Frey should have fired me over the years. A much harder equation, and the start of this article is attempting to find out how many I have impacted because of his impact on my career and my life. There is no measurable monetary repayment of those who seek to set aside profit for persuasion. The best way to repay a soul like that is to push forward, grow as tall as they can, knowing they too can create impacts passed down from farmer to farmer. It is my purpose and the purpose of so many greater leaders than me to push past the P&L (profit and loss) to the greater statement “P of L” (purpose of life) and create the most immeasurable and unaccounted impacts.
I will challenge everyone to plant seeds, tend to the crop of the unknown, so that one day they will sprout, tall and plentiful. When that day comes, you will hope that their impact on life is measured by their own success, and never by your work.