Impact isn’t just a font

“Do you just want to make an impression,
or do you want to make an impact?”
– Dr. Charles Stanley

After my first few weeks at my new job I realized that I had fallen into a familiar old pattern: I was trying to impress the other guys at work. I was working hard – feverishly in some cases – because I wanted my “first 100 days” to sparkle. I wanted to make a lasting, favorable impression. I wanted to shine.

Then it suddenly occurred to me that this was the wrong goal. It might be a good goal, but it’s not the best goal. So I have decided to change my objective: I don’t want to impress them. I want to help them. I want to choose, every minute of the day, to do what I believe will most help the team, both short term and long term. I want to serve  them.
I used to play a little basketball back in college. (Not on the school team, but at lunch hour in the gym.) There were a lot of guys out there who really wanted to make an impression. They’d be dropping threes, doing power drives, impressing people with their one-on-one matchup skills. They were tremendously impressive. But there was one guy that I’ll never forget. His name was Karl. He was an incredibly gifted basketball player. He knew the game and he could do just about anything – big, smart, athletic, skillful. But he had a goal that was distinctly different than anyone else on the court. See, Karl had this surgically precise pass: he could always find the one man that was open, and he could get the ball to that guy at just the perfect time, every time. Laser passes, no-look bounce passes, around-the-back passes — if you could drive to the basket, Karl could get you the ball just when you needed it. The king of assists: he almost never scored himself, but the team almost always did. It was obvious to everybody that Karl came to serve. He really loved to make other people look good. What a privilege it was to have a guy like that on your team.
That’s the kind of player I want to be on the team. I don’t want to worry about making a sterling impression in my first 100 days. I want to make an impact. I want to be like Karl. Like Jesus. I want to serve.

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