Some of my favourite memories of my childhood are from our families' annual trips to Waskesiu (click if you've never heard of this national park). Every summer my mom and dad would pack up the van, hook up the boat and we would make the 3 hour drive to the north. We would arrive at the same cabin every year and for two or three weeks I would be in my own northern paradise. One of my most cherished memories involves heading to the marina bright and early, getting the boat fueled up and heading across the lake. The water would be as calm as glass and I would sit in the rear-facing seat and soak up the sights and smells of northern Saskatchewan. Something that would always hypnotize me was the wake from the boat. As we cruised across the lake we would leave a long wake behind us and the waves would seem to go on forever.
Without even knowing it we are all like that old boat. As we move through each day we create our own wake. From the moment we leave our own personal "marina" we are impacting the world in which we travel through. We encounter numerous people each day, some we engage with in extended interactions, others we share a brief word with, and others we might simply acknowledge with a smile or nod. After you read this sentence I would like you to stop and think about every single person you encountered today. It's a lot isn't it! Now think about the impact of your wake. After encountering a person we leave them feeling a certain way, and likewise they do the same to us. What I find so amazing is that we have the power to determine how our wake impacts others.
In a position of leadership I believe it is vital that we move through each day trying our best to leave a positive impact on every person we encounter. We are all busy and some days can feel like a whirl-wind with people coming at us from all angles. We make thousands of decisions each day and as you found from your reflection earlier, we encounter and interact with many people. As you move through your day, think about the impact your wake is making on those around you. How will you remain aware of your impact on those around you? What will you do when you realize your impact has had a negative effect on someone else?
As always, comments are welcome.