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Great Lessons Begin Early
Let me share a quick story about how simple childhood
conversation made an impact on the life I lead today.
During a recent radio interview, the host asked where I came up
with the lessons I shared in my latest book, Positive Impact. My
response surprised even me as I recalled the answer. You see, I
was very fortunate to have grown up with a wonderful role model.
Even when I was a child, my Mother spoke to me on a mature
level, taught me lessons that have lasted and have impacted the
lives of numerous people within my circle.
For example, I share a lesson in Positive Impact that came from
a car ride when I was about 12 years old. My mom was telling a
story about something that had happened at her workplace when I
piped in and said something along the lines of, “I would never
do that if that was me.” An eerie silence filled the car. It was
an uncomfortable moment, and then my mom turned toward me and
said these words: “Pop quiz. Say you have some very important
people coming into your business to close a major deal with you
and your organization. Now, the place is a mess because the
cleaning people never showed up and the office and bathroom need
a major overhaul. Quick! What would you do? Would you: (1) Call
the janitors office and yell at them for not doing their job?
(2) Change the meeting place because the office is just too
messy to deal with? Or (3) clean it yourself?”
My response was short and simple: “I’d change the location AND
yell at the cleaning crew. After all, I’m the boss, right?
Cleaning toilets is NOT my job!”
My Mom turned toward me and lowered her head with a look of
disappointment, shaking it from side to side as she responded in
a quiet tone, “That’s a shame. You’ll never be a leader then.”
“What?” I belted. “You said I already WAS the leader. You said I
was the boss.”
“No,” she whispered. “As a leader, you would be willing to do
anything and everything necessary to create success for yourself
and others, no matter what, even if it meant cleaning an office.
Real leaders are willing to chip in and help in any
circumstance. Funny thing,” she continued. “If you were that
kind of a leader, more than likely you would never have to worry
about situations like this because others would want to help you
Even at that young age, I remember having one of those “Aha”
moments when things seemed so clear.
In my adult years, I remember staying at work after hours one
day to clean up a bit and do a little wall painting. A couple of
employees came up behind me and asked, “Why are you doing that?
Shouldn’t you hire someone to do that stuff?” Suddenly, the
student became the teacher as I shared the same story with them
that my mom had shared with me. Hours went by as they stayed
behind to help me deck out the office that night, never asking
for a thing in return. One of those people became his own boss,
and now has a company of his own. I often wonder how many people
he’s told this story to, along with the other great advice my
mom shared with me over the years.
Well, Mom, for myself and the others whom your wisdom has
affected, I want to say thank you, I love you, and whatever you
Gregory Scott Reid, #1 best selling author The Millionaire
Mentor, Positive Impact, and co-author Wake up…Live the life you