True Leadership: Impact Without Attention

It is human nature to want to be recognized and admired by others for our good deeds and accomplishments. Attention is often a driving force of motivation for a vast majority people. Not to say that there is anything wrong with this mindset because many use it to their advantage as far as accomplishing great things. However, who would have ever thought that we would come to a point in history where the level of your impact and status would be measured by the number of random people who click a virtual “thumbs-up” symbol in confirmation of what you do or have done? It is truly an amazing time to be alive. While social media certainly has its benefits and pros, we as a society have become obsessed with attention and are confusing it with what true impact actually is.

In today’s day in age, we have developed the mindset that likes and followers are the same as making a positive impact on society. The leadership development niche is no different in this ideology. Due to social media, there is an overflux of information and competition in regards to people trying to build a brand and/or get their message across. This means that there is very few new information out there. Basically, every piece of content we see has been portrayed by someone else at some point in time and in some way shape or form. We as a society just choose who we listen to based off of who is more successful in terms of finances and recognition. That being said, this has created a mindset in people believing that they have to do whatever it takes to stand out in order for consumers to listen to them and consume their content rather than that of the rest of the competition. Here is where the issue lies. This lusting to stand out has contaminated our morals in regards to what true leadership is all about. Impact without recognition.

Now of course, I understand that if people want to make a living as an influencer/leadership developer, then yes they need some sort of recognition. That being said, we can’t fall into the trap of letting attention be our driving force of motivation. We have to learn to be content with impacting the lives of our followers without expecting recognition and praise in return. The well-respected leadership expert, John C. Maxwell says, “In the beginning (of his career) it was all about me, my goals, and my success. Slowly I realized that I was not on earth to see how important I could become but to see how much of a difference I could make in the lives of others.” Now, I’m not ignoring the fact that Mr. Maxwell has made a famous and lucrative career as an author and leadership developer. It is clear he has been recognized for his impact. That being said, we need to use his experience as our model. The bottom line is, when your main motivation is to make others lives better, the attention will come naturally whether you like it or not. If that’s the case, then why go searching for it? Unfortunately, that has been the mentality that many of us have developed in today’s day in age.

If we want to be true leaders, we have to put impact first. We have to be okay with not getting attention and not being recognized for every good deed we do. However, this is surly easier said than done. In a world where everyone is trying to get ahead and leave their mark, it is easy to get lost in the shuffle. But, I challenge leaders to say “Who cares” about getting lost in the shuffle. Make impact your number one priority and be at peace with whatever comes afterwards. Deep down each and everyone of us knows our true motives. So, what is yours? Are you willing to impact without attention?

Published by Zachary Paul Hoffman

I am a former professional athlete, tri-lingual, Italian/American duel-citizen and aspiring modern-day leadership development expert.

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