Tommy Spaulding, our good friend and nationally known speaker and author, shared in his January 22nd blog that a recent study indicated that the average person in this country will influence up to 80,000 people in their lifetime – either positively or negatively. Here was Tommy’s reaction:
That is profound. I can’t stop thinking about it. In fact, there is nothing that has occupied my mind more in the last 30 days than this. 80,000 people.
- Norte Dame’s Fighting Irish football stadium holds 80,795 fans.
- Green Bay Packer’s Lambeau Field holds 80,750 cheese heads.
- The University of South Carolina Gamecock stadium holds 80,250.
At the end of our lives…during our last moments on earth, if (somehow) you were standing on the 50-yard line at one of these stadiums, what would your 80,000 people you influenced be saying? Will they be cheering you or booing you? Will the 80,000 people that I’ve influenced in my lifetime be screaming TOMMY, TOMMY, TOMMY! Or will they be cursing %#@! %#@! %#@!?
The last ten years of my (Tommy) life I’ve been a full-time student and teacher on servant leadership. I’ve written two books on the subject. I’m obsessed with the topic. And if I had to sum up a lifetime of studying servant leadership…here it is: people won’t remember how you led them; they will remember how you influenced them.
Positive. Or negative. The choice is ours.
You pick the venue. But when your 80,000 people show up at the end of your life, I hope they will be chanting your name. I hope they will be screaming, “YOU CHANGED MY LIFE!” And I hope they will remember the positive influence you had on them.
Thank you, Tommy – for your own example of the power of influencing others for good. And for this great reminder that our actions today and all the days to follow do influence others – for good or for bad. May we choose wisely!