Influential Leadership: You Never Know When Those Seeds Will Sprout!

“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Who do you influence?  Who could you influence?  Have you ever thought about how far your leadership reaches?

This amazes me.  I received a note today from a Rotarian named Ruth who I had the pleasure of getting to know while leading an exchange team to Australia for Rotary International last year.  Her words made my heart sing!

She wrote that becuase of my “influential leadership” in explaining to her club that I was a Paul Harris Society member, she started a PHS chapter in her Rotary District and became a charter member.  To make it more exciting, RI President Ray Klingensmith, who my Rotary Club hosted last November, was able to attend her PHS charter dinner.  I was overjoyed with the news and thrilled to have had some of my planted seeds sprout up!

When I was visiting Australia and spoke of my love of The Rotary Foundation to all of the clubs I visited, I received many questions.  In Australia it is customary not to “purchase” a Paul Harris Fellow by contributing money to the Rotary Foundation, but rather it is “awarded” to a Rotarian for demonstrating service above self. I had to explain that in the US, we have both ways of obtaining a Paul Harris Fellow, and that both are very acceptable ways of achieving the leadership status that the award confers.

Ruth Little is an amazing woman and a great Rotarian, as is Past President Ingrid Mooney, who introduced us.  Ruth and husband Peter’s service work with orphans is being showcased by Australian Rotary District 9790 and DG Alan Anderson this weekend.

This is a great reminder to me, and I hope to you, that our leadership reaches others  through our words and actions.  We are influencing others every minute of every day.  Let’s strive to continue to be influential leaders with a positive impact on the lives of those we connect with. Ask yourself, “Whose life am I affecting today?”   You never know where those little seeds you planted will sprout!


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