One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.
Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
“Throwing starfish back in the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die,” the boy replied.
The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference.”
After listening politely, the boy bent down to pick up another starfish and threw it into the surf. Then, he smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one!”
When the scale of a problem feels too large, it becomes overwhelming. The easiest reaction is inaction. “How could I possibly save/fix everything? How can I possibly get through to everyone? Why bother?”
Just because you cannot put on a cape and fly down to save the day, does not mean you cannot make a difference. Nobody can change the world on their own, but everyone has the ability to make an impact for someone.
As a leader, this translates to mentorship and development of the team. In the scope of how busy you are and how many people are working, you may not be able to connect with everyone, everyday. But you can connect with one person and make a difference to them. That time matters.
When confronted with the opportunity to help, take action. Just do what you can, it matters. You’re never too busy. Nothing is too big. Impacting what you can is enough.
This is special in the context of an aligned team, working towards a common purpose. The team’s efforts compound. When EVERYONE does what they can, the amount of good you can do multiplies. Great things are not accomplished by a single person, but by a team.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed individuals can change the world. In fact, it’s the only thing that ever has.”Margaret Meade
February 16, 2023
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