Kenny Chapman: What’s your impact
Plumbers have the opportunity and responsibility to help shape lives every day.
We’ve all read stories and heard quotes about great CEOs, celebrities, sports icons and various recognizable people regarding the lasting impacts they’ve had on our society.
There’s no doubt that Michael Jordan will long be remembered for how much he helped shape a new style of professional basketball, which incorporated some smaller and faster players than had been done previously.
Bill Gates will certainly be with us long after his years on this planet because he intensely pursued his vision of having a personal computer in every home. Now, that vision has evolved into smart phones, tablets, watches and many other useful devices that he helped inspire based on his original dream.
Michael Jordan and Bill Gates definitely made their mark and significantly contributed to their respective fields. For whatever reason, our society has become accustomed to news outlets painting glamorous pictures of famous people and placing them on some special pedestal. Right or wrong, it happens every day.
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has actually changed many people’s perspectives about the idea of personal impact. During times of global crisis, the spotlight shifts to individuals who are having an impact on society in a much different way, such as healthcare workers, grocery clerks and so many more.
The industry we’ve chosen is also critical to the health of the world. I’m not here to change the press or your beliefs about celebrities and who should or shouldn’t be deemed important. However, this month I want to challenge you to think about how you will leave your own mark and feel great about how you choose to do so.
A few years ago, the lovely Christy and I took a vacation exploring different areas of the United Kingdom. I certainly couldn’t take this trip, which included parts of Scotland, without visiting the iconic St. Andrews golf course. One of the fondest memories I have of my late father is playing golf with him as a young boy, so the game holds a special place in my heart.
For our non-golfing readers, St. Andrews is the birthplace of golf. It’s a historic place like similar areas you’ve probably visited. Certain historic places provide more of a feeling and an experience, rather than simply being a tourist destination that you visit, take a few pictures and then go home.
I could feel St. Andrews; the smell, the sounds, the grass, the history. Having this wonderful experience made me reflect upon our businesses and the impact that has been made by the people who came before us in this industry. I’m not just talking about the big names that we all recognize, but also the others who we might not be aware of that shaped the way we do business. What about those legacies which impact just a few individuals instead of the whole world? The marks those people made are also extremely important. What will your legacy be? How many people will you influence? At what levels will you influence them?
You don’t need to live your life as a celebrity or create a world-renowned sport to have an important impact. I’m sure you’ve never heard of Mrs. Settle, my 11th grade speech and debate teacher who believed in me when I struggled in class. She helped me realize that perhaps I wasn’t as dumb as my classes and classmates made me feel. Little did either one of us know that I would go on to become a professional international speaker, trainer and author! One of the most important things to consider about Mrs. Settle is she wasn’t helping me for fame or fortune, she was helping me because it’s just who she is and it’s her gift. Now she leaves her mark with every single person I’m able to positively impact.
You might never even know the impression you are leaving on someone else’s life, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be focused on the impact you want to have. Let’s question ourselves when it comes to realizing what kind of mark we want to leave. You may feel like you’re just running some service company to make a living and provide for your family. My friend, there is much more to it than that, regardless of your company’s size. You’re in the people business and you have the great opportunity and responsibility to help shape lives every day.
LEAVE YOUR MARK
I feel personally blessed to train our leadership and management academies and help owners improve their companies because I love to see immediate beneficial changes in people. Additionally, my team members train management, office, sales and techs, so I get to feel like I’m having an impact through the positive difference they are making, too! Information is everywhere, but when the right information is implemented into a company, you get to witness a direct positive impact on culture, team member income and company profits.
You don’t have to be an owner, top manager or company trainer to leave your mark. You can create positive change just by being true to yourself and driving your business forward with passion. Passion seems to be something we lack all too often in this industry and I think it’s time we start getting it back. Glade Byron Addams once said, “Chase down your passion like it’s the last bus of the night.”
When I’m coaching clients, I sometimes need to remind them of the impact they are truly having. You don’t have to be Michael Jordan or Bill Gates to have an impact on society. Making a difference as a strong, positive leader of a home services company has a ripple effect that goes into your family, your team member’s families, your community, our industry as a whole and so on. It’s the effort you expend every day, the drive to improve and the level of passion you put forth that shapes your impact, so what do you want yours to look like? I want you to really think about this question.
While we were visiting St. Andrews, we learned the founder of golf was a man named Tom Morris. Mr. Morris didn’t invent the game, nor have many people who aren’t golf fanatics ever heard of him. He is considered the “founder” of the sport because of his passion for improving the game and working to be his very best.
Start by finding more passion in your daily business activities. Explore ways you can elevate the energy in your company based on your actions as a leader. Will you impact people directly or through other people who you’ve inspired to be their personal best? Regardless of your position in life or business, you can have a huge impact on other people. Focus your energy and attention on how you want to leave your mark — it’s your choice.