Reach and Impact

How often do we ever give any thought to our reach and impact?
As a person, friend, family member or colleague?

For me I am usually too busy being me, helping out, guiding, coaching, mentoring and just doing what I can to really spare too much brainpower on wondering how wide is my reach and what is my impact.

Recently two things happened which changed that. The first is that I left my job, the second was that my new role fell through, and so I restarted my job search.

Two fairly ordinary things really, although the circumstances of the second were not how I planned, but I adapted.

The thing that links them is people, and my network. When I left work, as is fairly standard, I received a card, which had done the rounds of my colleagues and had messages in it from them. I have had a number of these over the years (I have been working for over 30 years now and changed jobs a few times over that period).

What stood out for me this time were the messages. Not the usual, good luck, best wishes, all the best for your future. But a lot of people had taken time to thank me, to give some real praise and feedback. Things that made me start to think about my impact.

Another nice thing was receiving a LinkedIn recommendation, not one I asked for, one that meant someone had taken the time to look me up and write something. Also something really nice that again made me think about the impact I have had on others without knowing.

At my leaving evening, having chats with colleagues, talking over joint projects, meetings and interactions that we had had. Small things that I had said and done that had assisted others, broken down walls, helped them to achieve better outcomes. Simple introductions, letting people know that contacts are ‘good people’, helping out using my network.

Then the worst thing happened, the phone call to let me know that my job offer had been withdrawn, to be honest the bottom fell out of my world on that call. I had been looking forward to the new challenge, it felt well suited for me and I felt excited about the opportunity ahead. To have it taken away hurt. I took some time to consider the impact and my response.

I decided that I would post on my social media what had happened and posted on Twitter and LinkedIn. It was difficult, as I wanted more time to let it sink in, but also wanted to get back into the correct mindset and start the search as soon as possible.

It was the best thing I could have done. My wonderful network of colleagues and friends rallied around me. There were messages of support, people saying wonderful things about me and my abilities. But also, there were introductions and recommendations.

Personally, I know that I would only ever recommend people and introduce them to my contacts if I knew that they were reliable, solid and wouldn’t let me down. At a time that my spirits were really low I had a big confidence boost knowing that people believed in me.

My search for my next role continues, I know I will find something great. My confidence is high in both that outcome and my self confidence and feeling of self worth.

We never really take time to think of reach and impact.
We do the things that make us who we are, and most of the time don’t even notice that we are doing it.

Today I am glad that I have and continue to do things to help others achieve.
Do you know what your impact and reach is?

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