Imagine this 1990’s scenario…
A sulky child in the backseat of Mom’s stationwagon pressing his head against the window – bored and in a visibly bad mood. The kid glancing at cars zooming past Mom’s careful driving. A sedan passes Mom’s car and the driver makes eye-contact with this melancholy child.
Mom’s car pulls ahead with the other sedan falling behind. Then the sedan zooms past with the driver giving moose ears while sticking his tongue out at the sulking child. A smile came upon my face and my bad mood was gone. It felt better to smile versus pout.
This tiny experience impacted my life in more ways than maybe any other. This driver’s kind act to bring a smile to a bummed out kid altered a key part of my personality where I now look for ways to brighten people’s days. I’ll never be able to track down the driver – I didn’t get his license plate – and thank him for his influence on my life.
As you know, it feels good to make people smile. Just like the fellow in his sedan by displaying Moose Ear Leadership.
Moose Ear Leadership = Finding little ways to brighten someone’s day
So, how are you going to brighten someone’s day? And, here’s another thought: chances are you have already made a significant impact on someone’s life with a small gesture.
The Impact of Everyday Leadership
Acts of leadership don’t need to come from a CEO or another person in power. In Drew Dudley’s TED Talk, Everyday Leadership, he urges people not to think of leadership as an appointed title.
He asks people to look for little opportunities to positively influence others. When carrying yourself in a manner to help strangers, you never know who might be inspired just by watching you. Listen to Drew Dudley give his example.
Similar to Drew Dudley’s experience, the guy giving me Moose Ears made a profound impact on my life.
A friendly challenge to you: Do you know someone who carried out a simple gesture which made a profound impact on your life? If so, and if you have the opportunity, be sure to reach out and thank them for their generous act.
Four Ways To Brighten People’s Days
As many of you know, I’m a cheesy dude who proudly boasts corny jokes to get people chuckling. Postcards are sent from my location to all across the globe to make people smile.
Your personality will dictate which routines make sense for your everyday life. But, to get your thought juices flowing, here are four intentional habits I use in my life to display Moose Ear Leadership.
Ask service staff, “Are people treating you nicely today?”
Have you noticed how the question, “How are you?” comes across as routine these days? No matter what the person is feeling, the automatic response to the question is, “Good.” A habit I use is to ask, “Are people treating you nicely today?” After hearing this question, most service staff relax and we enjoy a genuine conversation about their day.
Tip in $2 bills
Notice how this is #2 on the list?
People love $2 bills as tips. You can get these by asking bank tellers for $2 bills when visiting your local branches. It’s fun to see people get excited whenever I tip Lyft drivers, restaurant staff, barbers, and other tipped staff. This doesn’t take much effort and it makes you feel good to see people get excited – especially when you tip with multiple $2 bills.
Use the Bitmoji App
Design a Bitmoji avatar for your personality and have fun making your text recipients smile. This app allows you to create a person who looks like you and then the app places this avatar in many different memes for all types of occasions. So many options to choose from which will help you articulate a comical message. For example:
Give High Fives
While working in Disney World, the easiest way I bonded with strangers was to simply say, “High Five!” Little kids, and even adults, wound up their arms to slap my extended palm. Find everyday opportunities to participate in the legendary “HIGH FIVE!”
Simple acts of everyday leadership can help you gain confidence that you are positively influencing others through your actions. These little actions can compound over time to help you craft your character– the person who you want people to intentionally remember.
When people remember you, don’t you want to be remembered as someone who made their lives a little better? Making lives better – that sounds like leadership to me.
A Lost Friend’s Genuine Act of Leadership
Please allow me to finish this article by honoring someone who deserves recognition for his everyday leadership style. He inspired me and I hope he inspires you too.
A charismatic spirit with an ever-present smile, Brian Ward influenced the rooms he entered by brightening people’s days with his joyful attitude. He will be missed and he left us too soon. Brian displayed his infectious personality each time we spent time together – volunteering, goofing off at Six Flags, and our many times laughing over some brews.
Brian embodied friendliness mixed with courage and ambition. In addition to his positive nature, Brian inspired others through his actions. He displayed courage when he stood behind his employer during tough times. Proud of his career and his responsibilities at United Airlines, Brian worked hard and his ambition led him to accomplish significant career milestones during his short time on our globe. A globe which he was lucky enough to see each day from his view as a pilot.
Instead of smiling down on us from the cockpit, maybe Brian’s spirit smiles down on us from another vantage point. My thoughts go out to his young widow and to all his family and friends.
A joyful smile. I’ll do my best to adopt Brian’s personality trait to carry on his fun spirit. A pilot’s salute to you, Brian Ward.
Thanks for reading and if you want guidance on how to navigate your personal finances, please get in touch with me or learn more at Well-Rounded Success’ Services on the website.
About the Author
Dan Andrews is the Leader & CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ of Well-Rounded Success. Dan enjoys guiding and encouraging millennials through their ‘adulting’ responsibilities. His behavioral-finance style focuses on helping individuals in the Well-Rounded Success community define his/her own definition of success, make good decisions, and to also be philanthropic while along their journeys.
Cover Photo Credit: Jarryd Wafer