Recently, I was sitting in a board meeting, and I started to question why I was thereâ€”not in the existential senseâ€”but why and how was I really serving the organization? Was I merely â€œshowing up?â€
As I was listening to members of the board discuss different initiatives, one name was repeated, â€œLarsen Jay.â€ It would go something like this, â€œLarsen had the vision to…,â€ or â€œLarsen helped get ___ off the ground.â€ Larsen, it turns out, had indelibly left his mark on the organizationÂ andÂ ultimately changed the course of it. As I thought more about other boards he had served, I realized he had similar impact on multiple organizations. His fingerprints are on each organization he’s touched.
How was I leaving my mark? Was I doing just enough to get the T-shirt? More broadly, how am I leaving my fingerprints on my family, my job, my community? Will my fingerprints need to be cleaned off because of something lousy that I did, or worse yet will my investment of time just be so unremarkable that time will erase my fingerprints altogether?
Weâ€™ve all heard that we only use a small percentage of our brains, and I would venture to say that we only use a small percentage of our time. Our time is limited. We can do so much with it, why squander the opportunity by just showing up? Families, churches, boards, communities, and organizations need so much more than warm bodies. They need our talents and insightsâ€”they awaitÂ our mark.
Showing up is not enough. Make indelible marks.
Image used underÂ creative commons license viaÂ Suvi Korhonen.