Several years ago, I jotted down a Maya Angelou quote in the peace-sign embossed small leather notebook that sits on my bedside table. It reads, “Be a rainbow in some else’s cloud.” While quite inspirational, especially hearing Maya Angelou say it live on Oprah Presents Master Class, mostly I recorded it as an aspiration. What an accomplishment it would be to actually be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud? How do you do this? People like Maya Angelou do this, but me?
Last week I facilitated a career visioning session for a group of HR Managers & Directors. One of the participants referenced a Tedx Talk called Everyday Leadership, she referred to it as Lollipop Moments. In this talk was the answer to my question…you may already be a rainbow and not even realize it.
I was on my ½ marathon training walk today, and taking my mind off the sore feet and knees were thoughts about the idea of lollipop moments. I recalled a letter I received about 5 years ago. It came completely out of the blue from an Operations Manager I had worked with almost 20 years before. In the letter, he thanked me for the significant role I had played in his professional development and his understanding and respect for HR and how helpful that has been for him as a leader. As I read the letter, I had to reach deep into my memory bank. There he was, yes, I remember him, but what did I actually do? Maybe it was something I said or maybe several little things. I honestly couldn’t remember any detail. I was so touched, not by the fact that I did something meaningful but that he took the time to seek me out and acknowledge me. Took my breath away!
In his Tedx Talk, Drew Dudley challenges us to embrace lollipop moments: create them, acknowledge them, pay them forward, and say thank you to someone who gave you one. I invite you to join me in this challenge of everyday leadership...becoming a rainbow in someone else's cloud.
As a final note, I send a special shout out to all my clients who acknowledge the positive impact that my coaching is having in their lives. Please know that each of you have had a lollipop moment impact on me.
Photo by Lynne Harris Bernstein ©2017