Tuesday, April 27, 2010


”Take every opportunity to lead, every opportunity to positively influence others.”

I found myself enjoying one of the best-run government agencies last week when this thought on leadership hit me. You know, the place with stark white walls lit beautifully by flickering overhead fluorescents, row after row of folks slouching in the uncomfortable plastic chairs – each staring blankly at a different spot on the speckled tile floor. Where, when your number is finally called, you slowly saunter to the counter carrying a few documents in one hand and an all but defeated spirit in the other.

I felt this very same spirit of defeat creeping in while sitting in the BMV last week watching the numbers tick by every so slowly, waiting for my turn to approach the counter for slaughter.

So much time wasted. So much human creativity unrealized. So much of each and every person left untouched, left wanting.

Then I realized, the BMV is a microcosm for so much of humanity; sitting, waiting, waiting for someone else to do something, waiting for their turn, waiting to be told they need more information, more documentation. Each allowing his/her spirit to be slowly eroded.

As I waited, I realized, I too felt my spirit cringing, curling up, withering a little.
Then it hit me. It wasn’t an epiphany; nor a revelation, nothing monumental — just a simple action. Something that would say, “I won’t let this hour of my life be utterly wasted. I’m going to inspire these folks!”

My number B176 flashed in red on the board. With this idea for action fresh in mind, the energy of it welling up inside me, I jumped up and yelled “BINGO!” like I had won the Bingo World Championship !

My only hope is for this small act to have inspired others to do something similar. To be themselves.

And one day I hope to be sitting at the BMV when a slew of folks transform the stale environment by shouting BINGO! or Yahtzee! when their number flashes on the screen.

”Take every opportunity to lead, every opportunity to positively influence others.”

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