Lilly was this 12-year old shy daughter of Chinese immigrants. Not born here, but raised here from the age of 3; she was a total wiz kid. Lilly was brilliant in math, could draw better than the majority of adults, and was as sweet as an angel. But, she was timid. Very reserved and seldom engaged if not asked.
Luckily she was a Boys and Girls Club (BGC)
Over the years Lilly stayed engaged at the BGC. She helped out with the local youth council and volunteered to help the other kids. When Lilly was 17 and graduating from high school, she decided to write me a letter.
In the letter, she wrote,
“….I still remember the exact moment you took me aside and told me that you saw yourself in me. I was awed that you thought so highly of me and thought that I could become like you. Life at home was tough, and coming to the BGC was a bit of an escape. You made me believe in myself….”
I would be lying to you if I said that I recall that moment or even that conversation. To me, Lilly was just another kid at the Boys and Girls Club. A place that I enjoyed going to, helping out, and getting a paycheque. Nowhere else would I get paid to play basketball.
One of the most significant moments in Lilly’s development was one I would never recall.
As leaders, it is surprising how often this is true. Sometimes we are unaware of the impact, we have on others. Drew Dudley coined the term “Lollipop Moments” in his Ted-talk recalling a similar experience.
Our unawareness does not take away the significance of these everyday acts of leadership. You don’t need a stage, a book, or a million Instagram followers to change the lives of others.
It begins with our everyday acts of leadership.
Perhaps you have a lollipop moment where someone changed your life, and you’ve never told them. Give that person a call and let them know.
The words you use and actions you take as a leader have enormous unintended effects, both good and bad.
As we gain awareness, we’ll have more intentional lollipop moments.
Meet Fahd Alhattab
Fahd Alhattab has built a reputable career in leadership development, motivational speaking, and creative fundraising. With a fun demeanour and a background in youth work, Fahd entertains and engages the audience, and leaves them feeling empowered to embrace everyday acts of compassionate leadership.
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