Paying it forward happened to me this week. I had a dear friend come to my rescue as I was coming unglued when I’ve done the same for her in the past. Most of the stuff I touched this week crumbled and I wanted to stay in bed, pull the covers up and HIDE! hahahahaha! But, I decided to roll over and…check Facebook. LOL!
If you are like me, I scroll through hitting the ‘like’ button until something catches my eye. If your community is like mine, we have a neighborhood group that has all kinds of craziness in it so I meandered to that group and started scrolling. It provides a fair amount of amusement, rants and the occasional gem. That’s when I stumbled on this post that gave me goose bumps! It’s just what I needed as a pick me up to a hard week — the good ‘ole paying it forward parable.
The “Pay it Forward” Effect (Rhonda Mahan)
Dear teenage boy at the skate park:
You’re probably about 15 years-old, so I don’t expect you to be very mature or for you to want a little girl on your skate ramp for that matter.
What you don’t know is that my daughter has been wanting to skateboard for months. I actually had to convince her that skateboarding wasn’t just for boys.
So when we walked up to the skate park and saw that it was full of teenage boys, she immediately wanted to turn around and go home.
I secretly wanted to go too because I didn’t want to have to put on my mom voice and exchange words with you.
I also didn’t want my daughter to feel like she had to be scared of anyone, or that she wasn’t entitled to that skate park just as much as you were.
So when she said, “Mom it’s full of older boys,” I calmly said, “So what, they don’t own the skate park.”
She proceeded to go down the ramp in spite of you and your friends flying past her and grinding rails beside her.
She only had two or three runs in before you approached her and said “Hey, excuse me…”
I immediately prepared to deliver my “She’s allowed to use this park just as much as you guys” speech when I heard you say, “Your feet are wrong. Can I help you?”
You proceeded to spend almost an hour with my daughter showing her how to balance and steer, and she listened to you – a feat not attained by most adults.
You held her hand and helped her get up when she fell down and I even heard you tell her to stay away from the rails so that she wouldn’t get hurt.
I want you to know that I am proud that you are part of my community, and I want to thank you for being kind to my daughter.
She left the skate park with a sense of pride and with the confidence that she can do anything, because of you.
All of us could use this lesson as leaders to pay it forward! If we take the time to help others, it will come back around in the end. Being mindful of stepping up and showing someone how to do something in the workplace is what we are supposed to do as leaders. Be good stewards of your team to help them succeed when you see them struggling so you will be stronger as a group to achieve what your team is tasked with achieving!
Check out this article about Three Traits of Pay it Forward Leaders.
Need help here? You can schedule a time here. There is no cost. This is not a sales call masquerading as a strategy call. I just want to support you.