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Say what needs to be said (while it’s still today)

December 1, 2016 Matt Norquist

There comes a time in life when we realize we need to seize the day—or at the very least, seize the moments that we each get to experience each day. Last year while I was attending Linkage’s Global Institute for Leadership Development, I had two conversations that I won’t soon forget. One was with a very dear friend who was dealing with the aftermath of a friend passing away. Another was with someone who was coming to terms with his wife’s recent terminal cancer diagnosis.

These events were fresh in my mind as I listened to one of our speakers, Nando Parrado, tell his courageous tale of survival as he closed out the last day of our Institute. His message: say what you need to say loud and clear—and, above all else, live in the moment. This really resonated with me in that moment and it got me thinking. I walked away with an unwavering desire to hear what needs to be heard, and to say what needs to be said—while it’s still today.

None of us can predict what is coming tomorrow (good or bad)—what opportunities will present themselves to create our legacy, to create lasting leadership impact. One thing we do know is that every day is full of moments in time to create an impact. If you miss them today, they might not come your way again.

Thinking about this reminds me of an exercise that a colleague and I used to do before we left the office each evening. In an email, we would list the 3 things that we did to help a client that day. Sometimes these were as simple as a call or an email, other times a thoughtful report. Regardless of the action—it was always 3 things that thoughtfully added value to a relationship, each and every day.

Recently I had fallen out of the habit of making this a part of my daily routine, until last week. I made a conscious effort to: stop in the hallway here at our Linkage headquarters to read posters highlighting 17 community impact projects from leaders who attended our workshop at TechWomen; I called an old colleague who I hadn’t spoken to in a few years to ask how he’s settling in to a new role; and, I thanked someone for doing something that was above and beyond the call of duty in their role.

These moments weren’t life changing, but they were each an opportunity for me to pause, appreciate, and engage in the world around me—and to be aware of where I am and what I stand for in this moment in time.

What are 3 things you can do to create lasting leadership impact, while it’s still today?

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