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They were just turning the corner, quite a distance away. Intent on my mission, I hadn’t noticed. Stepping off the side walk, I leaned forward, nose deeply buried in the fragrant lilac blossoms, capturing that fleeting scent of spring to later call to mind on a bone-chilling Chicago winter day.


Suddenly, as I stepped away from the flowers, they spoke and I jumped. “I’ve been watching you.” A long pause, as I stood frozen. Then they shared a slow smile and the comment, “You’ve inspired me.” They smiled again as they leaned in to smell the lilacs. I smiled and was on my way.   What an unexpected, pleasantly surprising, simple and powerful exchange with a stranger on a sunny, spring day.


We are always being watched. Always influencing others whether we know it or not. That is in simple terms called leadership, an interaction where influence occurs. Depending on our behavior that can be in a positive or a negative way, consciously or unconsciously and with varying impact.


We have a choice every moment of how we want to impact the world and the people in it, a choice of how we want to lead. Whether that is at work, in our home, in the community, on the sidewalk, or at a lilac bush. How will you inspire others? How will you lead? Somebody’s watching.


Have you ever had an experience like this? Share it with us, and we welcome your comments.

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