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6 Tips for Making a Difference

6 Tips for Making a Difference

If you aren’t making a difference in other people’s lives, you shouldn’t be in business. It’s that simple.

-Richard Branson

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Making a difference in life resonates with people. We want a life mission, not merely a career. Your soul will not be satisfied until you are making a positive difference in other peoples’ lives. This also applies in your business life. Here are five tips to make a positive difference in business:

#1 Influence Your Circle

Regardless of your position at work you have a circle of influence. My sister often told me of her company’s janitor, Charles, who had an infectious, positive attitude. He was so good at spreading good vibes employees looked forward to him picking up their trash. Just imagine, his job required him to cover every inch of their workplace every day, and although his job title was janitor, he became the self-appointed ambassador of good.

Charles retired at age 70 and volunteered his time to work with the poor in his twilight years before he departed this world. What an incredible legacy Charles, the janitor, gave his family.

#2 Think Before You Leap

A common misconception among business people is you must become a missionary, work for a church, synagogue or non-profit organization to make a difference. Maybe you believe you cannot make a positive contribution in other people’s lives while working in a corporation from 9 to 5. If you feel this way, think again.

I made this mistake a number of years ago. Dissatisfied with the nasty politics between two business divisions, I decided to accept an offer to join my church’s staff. This radical decision, made with good intentions, was a big mistake. Not only did I feel isolated from the real world, I also observed the disgusting back office sausage factory of a dysfunctional church leader. Bottom line, if you are about to jump out of the business world, think before you leap.

we rise by lifting others

#3 Be Positive with Negatives

Making a difference in someone’s life is easy when they are nice. When a person has a negative disposition it becomes a significant challenge.

Your goal is to avoid getting sucked into this black hole of negative energy. Be a person who rises above toxic personalities. Making a difference does not mean you must suffer abuse. Difference makers are not pushovers. The best you can do is to leave your positive stamp on all encounters and rise above counter-productive behaviors.

#4 Stand Up

Difference makers protect their companies, peers and employees. That is why you must call attention to unethical conduct and blow the whistle if the proper channels white wash a legitimate issue. Don’t seek out trouble or desire to be a martyr. Your primary goal is to be the catalyst for change and prevent damage to the organization. Standing up takes courage. Difference makers do not mindlessly comply with unethical commands from management.

#5 Count the Cost

Living a principled life is not always welcomed by those in power. That is why you should prepare yourself by counting the cost. Giving your best to others may cause the denial of promotions, a negative response from superiors and peers, or even the loss of your job.

#6 Loosen Your Grip

Lastly, hold onto possessions lightly. It is better to live with little debt and a healthy amount of savings so that you are not a slave to a bad company or boss. Difference makers run against the wind, not with it. As Albert Einstein once stated, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.”

 

Kevin Kennemer is founder of The People Group based in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kevin is driven by his passion for company owners and their need to earn a profit, employees’ desire for a positive and fulfilling work experience, and the community that benefits when both groups do well.

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