Make A Difference Every Day

Leaders are readers and leaders are learners. You are never too old to keep learning something new.

If you want to evolve in your career and grow into a leader, then you cannot continue to do the same things day in and day out. I wrote this article for the person who wants to increase their influence and have a positive impact with their team and beyond.

I’m guessing that the reason you are reading this article is because you want to become more in life, have a successful career and help others along the way.

1. What Are Your Goals?

If this is you, then what are your goals? Is your goal to wake up every morning uninspired, go to work and do your best to do as little as possible and have a negative impact on your team…every day?

Or, is your goal to wake up every morning feeling inspired and happy, go to work and make a huge, positive impact for your team…EVERY DAY?

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In your favourite sports team, who does the coach choose as the captain? Does he choose the best individual player? Or, does he choose the player with the most influence and helps others perform better?

When I was a kid, I played a lot of European style football (soccer). I loved it so much that I would play for a number of teams at the same time, and I would also play with my friends in the street. But, the worst part about playing in the street was when it came to picking the teams at the beginning.

Who picked the teams? The two kids with the most influence on the group (very rarely me). Who did they pick first? They chose the kids that were the best players, but also would help the team win (very rarely me).

Think of your team at work. Other than your leader, who has the biggest positive influence? If it isn’t you, then you need to change to increase your influence and your impact on the team. How do you do that? You MAKE A DIFFERENCE, EVERY DAY!

In the position you are currently in, how do you make a difference, every day? I try to help at least one person on my team every day. Whether that be with a technical issue, personal issue or to teach them something new that will help them in the future.

2. Are You Adding Value?

Basically, I am ADDING VALUE to at least one person every day. The more I do this, the more people I will influence, and one person will become two people, then three people and so on. By adding this value will make me more valuable.

Being valuable to your team and beyond is what you should focus on. The more valuable you are, the more successful you will be. Not the other way around.

There are a lot of ambitious people in the world who want to “climb the ladder” in their career, which is a great thing for themselves, their organisation and their industry. However, in my experience I have seen people take on bigger roles far too early. I was one of those people.

I took on an engineering production manager role in Scotland when I was 28, and when I was on shift I was in charge of up to 30 people. The job almost broke me because I had not had the right development. Before taking on bigger roles, we need to ensure we have had the right development.

But also, we need to have mastered the level we are currently at. If it means taking longer to develop, then so be it. Being ready for the next step is more important than taking the next step.

A lot of leadership expert’s talk about starting something new, with the end in mind. This is so true. Since I heard about this principle, I have applied it to everything I do. Whether if that is at work or at home. If you don’t know where you’re going, then how are you going to get there?

When I started reading about leadership in 2009 I have always asked myself that question “If you don’t know where you’re going, then how are you going to get there?” So, by starting with the end in mind, you can plan and strive to reach the end.

3. What Do you Want To Achieve In Your Life?

That is how I’ve known what my next role in my career was going to be, or what I wanted to achieve in my personal life. I’ve always known that I wanted to create a business, but what kind and how? When I sat down to think about what to do, I thought of my two main passions in life, leadership and helping people.

So the end in my mind for my business was helping you to become a leader. Having that end in mind enabled me to plan what I wanted to write.

We are all at a certain place in our lives and our career, and a lot of us want to move to a better place in both. Do you know where that place is for you? Do you know how to get there?

If you don’t know where that next better place is for you yet, then take a bit of time to figure out the following:

Who are you?

Where are you?

Who do you want to become?

Where do you want to be?

By answering these four questions as well as you can will reveal to you, where you are now in your life and career and where you want to be. By knowing these two things will help you map out the path to your success.

A question that I like to ask myself, that I know will definitely help you and you SHOULD ADOPT is:

Am I moving in the right direction by taking this action?

I talk a lot about taking action, and asking yourself the question above will ensure you are taking the right action. There is no point in taking an action if it is not going to move you or your team or even your family in the right direction. So, you can get how important it is to ask yourself this question.

4. Are You Taking The Right Action?

You have to be strict with yourself when asking yourself this question. If the action you are taking is not moving you in the right direction, then DO NOT take it. If the action you are taking is moving you in the right direction then DO take it.

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A lot of people, who know that taking the action will not move them in the right direction, still take the action anyway. I know a lot of people who have done that, I’ve even done it myself. When you take this action, you are taking a step backwards.

Then it becomes harder to get back onto the right path and the right direction. So my advice is, be as strict as possible with yourself when asking the question:

Am I moving in the right direction by taking this action?

The more you ask yourself this question both in your personal and professional life, the more you will grow and make changes to improve your future. There was a time when I asked this question of myself in 2011 and my answer would be DO NOT take the action.

However, now in 2019 I might ask the question for the same action and my answer is DO take the action. So this question can also help you evolve as a person and in your own personal growth.

Always remember, you are the most important person who will ever talk to you, so make sure you don’t upset yourself. Ensure that you don’t lie to yourself either.

Don’t tell yourself that you will take action and then don’t, because that can lead you in the wrong direction and instead of taking a step forward, you take a step backwards. So be careful with yourself.

The difference between a leader and a follower is; a leader works on themselves to constantly change and improve and a follower doesn’t

I welcome hearing how this post has influenced the way you think, the way you lead, or the results you have achieved because of what you’ve learned in it. Please feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below.

Check out my other articles by Clicking HERE

All the best,

Tom (LeadGrowInfluence)

46 thoughts on “Make A Difference Every Day

  1. I love this post Tom, I especially love this comment “You are never too old to keep learning something new.” I couldn’t agree more, since I started practicing self-development and self-care, my life has transformed massively.

    I also set daily, weekly, monthly and long-term goals, it keeps me motivated and something to work towards.

    I will be downloading your ebook and will let you know how I get on.

    Thanks for great article.

    Adam

    1. Hi Adam,

      Thank you for your comment. I am really pleased that you love this article, really does mean a lot to me.

      It’s great that you share how you set your goals in a similar way to me. I hope that you enjoy the e-book and if there is anything I can do to help you with it then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

      All the best,

      Tom

  2. Tom,

    I loved your article! You remarked in your second point that leaders can impact at least one person per day. I believe that is significant to remember. Oftentimes, we burden ourselves with a laundry list of things and helping others usually rests at the bottom of this list. However, influencing people is the best medicine for creating a good working environment.

    I, too, have to ask the same questions that you asked in your post. Leaders must continue to develop themselves and use those questions to guide their leadership styles. Lastly, I appreciated your first comment about leaders being readers. I’m currently reading a few books right now, and each is broadening my understanding of the world. Thanks for your post!

    1. Hi Robert,

      Thank you for your comment. It really fills me with pride that you loved my article.

      I agree that it is very significant that we remember to impact at least one person a day, positively. We must have that influence if we want to continue building trust, and strengthening on our relationships.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  3. Hi Tom,
    I love your texts about improving yourself, your business skills and relationships with people in general. A lot can really be learned. I think that questioning and a healthy critical attitude towards oneself is crucial when it comes to personal growth and development. Every man and not just a leader should ask himself the questions you mentioned in the text and he will never make a mistake. At least not so drastically as to deviate from the path. The problem is that we generally do very little with ourselves. Especially people who are in some positions think they are perfect and better than others. A true leader needs to understand and accept his flaws and work to correct them. If he does so he will be a favorite on the team and very successful in business and life. Only by correcting ourselves can we correct others. Thanks for the inspirational posts. Keep going.
    Greetings, Danijela

    1. Hi Danijela,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found this article valuable.

      I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and having that healthy attitude towards ourselves really is crucial. We cannot keep sabotaging ourselves if we want to continue to believe in ourselves and be our best every day.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  4. I got so much from this- excellent read Tom!

    Everything you said just made sense to me, like I was already thinking this way and your words affirmed those intuitive feelings I have been getting about how to handle things as a real man.

    Your article added lucidity to my day and a more clear path to take to complete my goals. Thank you brother!

    1. Hi Rowan,

      Thank you for your comment. I am so pleased that you found this article an excellent read.

      It’s great that the article made total sense to you and I hope you take action on what you learn. Please share with others too and keep that highly effective leadership snowball effect going.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  5. Leaders are readers, that quote stuck with me. You are indeed never too old to learn and as a leader it is essential that you keep on learning and improving yourself. You ask some good questions in this article, especially the four questions that will help you find out where you are going and the other one that asks whether you are moving in the right direction by taking this action. Questions that will guide you. I think that it isn’t always easy to be a responsible leader, and the tips and questions in this article will definitely help or give a nudge in the right direction 🙂

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pleased that you found this article valuable.

      Asking the right type of questions is so important as a leader and it’s great that you acknowledge this. I hope you take these types of questions on and start to ask similar with your people to help them solve their own problems.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  6. Hi Tom.

    I really like this: ‘Being ready for the next step is more important than taking the next step.’
    So true! When someone is promoted too early, that person, their team, and ultimately the company will suffer as a consequence. So it is important that we are adequately prepared for any role that we take on.

    I have always worked with the end goal in mind, and this gives clear direction for all of the steps that need to be taken along the way. It always helps me when I ask myself if what I am doing now is going to help me end the desired results. As you say, the right action will lead to the right results.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that this article has resonated with you, really makes it all worthwhile.

      I completely agree that some people are promoted too early and when the team and results suffer, you cannot blame the leader. I don’t like to blame anybody, but we have to look at the senior leaders for not developing the new leader enough before offering them the role.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  7. i’m a person who always like to learn new stuff. I did find this really important and entertaining. Uour stories are great to hear. keep the good work.

    venche

    1. Hi Venche,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found this article helpful.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  8. Tom,

    You mentioned that in order for us to take on a bigger role, we must be ready for it. I agree. I’ve seen a lot of people promoted to a management level job without being ready at all. Once they move into that position, it gets to their head and they start bossing people around all day. It’s always bothered me when you see someone, in a manager role, bossing people around, telling them what to do while they sit on their bottoms all day and just reap the paycheck. No one under that person respects that sort of role.

    I’ve always thought, that before you can promote anyone, or put them in a leader role, they first must understand what a good leader does, acts and works. Otherwise, they simply have a power trip and it goes to their heads.

    Great information! Love this!

    Katrina

    1. Hi Katrina,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you love this article, means so much to me.

      I too have seen a good number of people being promoted into the management position who were not ready at all and they couldn’t cope. We need to understand what the management position is and what a manager’s real responsibility is…people. It is not the job, it is not the business, it is the people.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  9. It’s about taking each step one day at a time while not forgetting to enjoy the experience. It’s about continuously chasing your true loves and being passionate about life. Spend your time and energy on growing things you are passionate about, and you won’t feel the hard work being put in.

    Lovely post and opening quote as always, Tom. I had a blast reading it!

    Gorjan,

    1. Hi Gorjan,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you had a blast reading this article, makes it all worth while.

      I couldn’t agree more with you that is about taking one step at a time and being consistent and persistent with it. Being passionate about helping others and helping ourselves is so important in leadership.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  10. Hi, Tom, This is a very inspiring article. There are 3 points stuck in my head which I think are really valuable. The first one is to add value to people’s lives and by that becoming leader, I cannot but agree. If you try to help people you will get a reward, not the other way around. The second one is having the end goal in the mind before the start. When I’ve done that in my life, then my present activity seemed somehow easier. Did you have that too?
    Lastly, the question of the action I am going to take moves me in the right direction. Amazing, now I am in the position I have to take some important decisions and your question is going to help me. Great post!

    1. Hi Julius,

      Thank you for your comment. It is so humbling that you found this an inspiring article, makes it all worth while 🙂

      I really appreciate you sharing the points that stuck out because you’re right, we must become the leader we always wish we had. If we are expecting our people to be a certain way, then we must expect no less of ourselves.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  11. Another really good read Tom. I’ve used a handful of your articles over recent weeks as reference guides for some of my team. My primary job is in the insurance industry where adding value is continually questioned. It’s a question I ask of myself almost daily.

    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Jason,

      Thank you for connecting. It’s great to hear that you have used a number of my articles to help you.

      Please let me know how the articles are helping and if there is anything further I can help you with then just ask.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  12. Hi Tom,

    Great read and some very important key points for people looking for that leadership role or currently in one.

    You definitely have to decide on the direction you want to go and work towards that goal, also keep moving forward on your path.

    Always try to be better and lead by example too.

    Wonderful stuff.

    Take care and I look forward to the next post.

    1. Hi LJ,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m pleased that you found this article a great read.

      Knowing where we are going and where we are taking our team is so important as a leader. Having a vision and sharing that vision is how we all will pull in the same direction and strive towards the same goal.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  13. Hey, Tom! Thanks for sharing this post. I’m always looking for tips and methods to increase my skills and make a difference every day, not only in my own life but in lives around me as well. This post has some great insights that are worth sharing.

    I was especially intrigued by the section where you talk about taking the right action and not taking action when it doesn’t feel right. From time to time, I neglect the feeling portion before talking action, which produces negative resutls. Your post here has helped me to discover that and work on fixing it.

    Thanks again for sharing this post and keep up the good work!

    1. Hi Ivan,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this article valuable.

      It’s great to hear that you are always looking for new ways to make a difference every day, I do the same so I can relate to you. Taking the right action when you feel right is so important if we want to get the results we desire. Our thoughts cause our feelings and our feelings cause our behaviour and actions.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  14. Hiya!

    Great read! I definitely agree with the fact that leaders should offer value, otherwise you are not a leader. You are just a boss.

    People need to want to follow you because you give them something they can use or something that inspires them!

    With the action though – I have to say that every action is good for something, even if it may not look that way. Every decision you make and action you take will teach you something. Worked for me anyway 🙂

    Thanks a lot, great work!

    1. Hi Silvie,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found this article a great read.

      Adding value to our people is how we can make that difference. However, to add value we must work on ourselves every day to become more valuable. We cannot give what we do not have.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  15. We agree with you on creating a mindset for when you wake up in the morning with a good attitude rather than mad. Being motivated to achieve goals and a great attitude towards life and helping others along the way.

    Motivated is to ensure me that I’m going to get this done and motivate others with morning coffee and good gestures.
    In the field of digital marketing, we must be leaders to show others the value of leadership, so it keeps getting passed on.
    This article was informational to us and our company of being more leaders to have a positive impact on our team.

    Cheers,
    Mathew&Deloris

    1. Hi Mathew & Deloris,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m happy that you found this article helpful and that you agree with it.

      How we feel first thing in the morning is so important and starting the day with a positive attitude will set us up for a great day. It’s great that this article helps you and your business. If yo need any further hep then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  16. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips Tom.

    I’ll be honest with you, these are the things that I used to struggle with, and the reason why I couldn’t focus on my blog.

    I see these tips being not only applicable to a company but also to a blogger.
    Because, as a blogger, you put your content out there with aim of helping people.

    But, in order for a blogger to succeed and be effective, he / she must answer these 4 questions as well.

    Thanks again Tom for sharing!

    1. Hi Mina,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found the article helpful.

      Sorry to hear that you have struggled with this. I used to struggle to and I still do struggle, as does everybody. But we must not give up and keep striving to make that difference. Your blog is great and I know it will keep getting better.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  17. Hi Tom,

    Nice article. Its true that for clear progress we need to continue to learn. Learning is an ongoing process and is fundamental for self development.

    Every small steps count; listening to a 10min podcast or 30min of reading everyday, on the long term can bring big benefits.

    And true leaders know that.

    Thank you for sharing this great article with us

    Cheers

    1. Hi Arno,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so happy that you found this a great article, means a lot to me.

      You are right, learning every day is an ongoing process and is something we must not stop doing. Leaders are learners and leaders are readers. So, keep learning and keep developing yourself every day.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  18. Hi Tom

    There are lots of points in this post that resonate with me. It’s interesting that you say people know the actions they are taking will take them in the wrong direction but do them anyway!

    I read a book recently called The 1% Rule by Tommy Baker which, if you follow the rules, will get you going in the right direction. He advises asking the question daily ‘what one thing can I do today that will move me in the direction of my goals’ – then you do nothing else until that task is done.

    You are also right in saying (not quite in these words) that we don’t keep the promises we make to ourselves. We will let ourselves down over and over when we wouldn’t let others down. (One of my affirmations is ‘I am disciplined and keep the promises I make to myself’. – It is starting to work.)

    Thanks for another excellent article!

    Best,

    Jean

    1. Hi Jean,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased that you found this an excellent article, makes it all worth while.

      I have not read the book the 1% rule yet, but I will be reading it now after your short review of it. I love personal growth books and I am in the middle of writing my own personal growth books, so keep an eye out for them.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  19. Hi Tom,

    Goal setting is very important for anyone to go through the day feeling fulfilled.

    The thing that sets leaders apart is when they are able to influence that positivity and confidence while they achieve their goals of the day/week/month/year.

    It’s the constant effort that is put in that makes a leader captivating – hence you are right. A leader will naturally set purposeful goals to make a difference everyday.

    Great article one more!

    Cheers.
    SAM

    1. Hi Sam,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s so pleasing to hear you say that you found this a great article, really means so much.

      When we set a goal, it must be a goal that inspires us. It must be a goal that scares us. It must be a goal that wee don’t know how to achieve, but we will have a lot of fun finding out as we work on it every day.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  20. It really starts with your personal goals and some kind of path to follow – and you nailed that concept! It’s so simple, some could even say “cliched” but it’s the main reason why it’s heavily emphasized by successful leaders – it works!

    Your blog is a consistent, rugged source of inspiration Tom. Much appreciated!

    1. Hi Julius,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so grateful for your kind words about my blog, means so much to me and makes it all worth while.

      I couldn’t agree with you more, it really does start with your own personal goals. What are your personal goals and how are you going to reach them?

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  21. Hi Tom,

    Another great article! I agree that as a leader it’s very important to know your value as well as helping your team know their value as well. Being picked last is never fun and can really hurt someone’s self esteem.

    I like to help my team feel value by delegation and encouragement. I don’t always delegate the same person to do the same tasks, that way everyone has a chance to show their skills in different ways. This also keeps things interesting at work and away from mundane, repetitive tasks.

    It is sometimes hard for me to know if I’m heading in the right direction. I can be extremely indecisive and let the negative voice in my head take over. I, too, want to start my own business. But I just have so many ideas I’m not sure where to start.

    I’m going to take your list of questions and really start brainstorming on this. What mostly holds me back is my inner voice saying it’s impossible. But nothing is impossible if we hold ourselves accountable!

    Thanks as always!

    1. Hi Haley,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m so pleased that you found this a great article, means a lot to me.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences in leading your team. Delegating is so important as a leader, and delegating what it we want to achieve is how we empower our people to use their own ideas in coming to that achievement.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  22. Hi Tom,

    Thanks for sharing this article. It’s inspiring and educational. I feel the same in the first point that I am like you, who try to help at least one person in my team every day. So, I am actually adding some value to my team member’s work performance step by step.

    I’ve learned from this article that don’t ever lie to yourself when you make a decision. If you ignore this part, you may lead yourself to a negative result in the end. I will be more careful about it when I need to take action that leads me in the right direction.

    Matt

    1. Hi Matt,

      Thank you for your comment. It’s great that you found this article educational and inspiring, makes it all worth while in writing.

      You are right, you don’t want to lie to yourself. Be extremely honest with yourself when it comes to your personal growth and leadership. We are the most difficult people we can lead. Leading ourselves is so important if we want to lead others.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

  23. We never stop learning and we are definitely not too old or too big to learn. You mentioned leaders or teams leaders we should look forward to adding value at least one person a day because aside adding value to more people as the day goes by you become valuable .As a member of a team, I often find myself making weekly and monthly goals especially and also encouraging others around me to do same. I got back quite often to check on these goals to check if I’m on the right part, if I am I give myself a thumbs and if I’m not I work on it. It’s fun and also challenging sometimes. Making a difference everyday will definitely go a long way. Lastly, today I found a new motto I will not forget, ‘The difference between a leader and a follower is; a leader works on themselves to constantly change and improve and a follower doesn’t´.

    Thank you Tom

    1. Hi Femi,

      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad that you found this article valuable.

      I appreciate you sharing your experiences in being part of a team and having to meet weekly and monthly goals. There will be a lot of people reading this who will be in the same position and will be able to relate to you.

      Keep returning, keep engaging and keep leading.

      All the best,

      Tom

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