How To Make An Impact Series #3

Imagine you are watching the start of a race. The runners are at the starting blocks. Their feet are set and their fingers spread just behind the white line in their lane. The starter raises his hand and says these words:

On your mark. Get set. Go!

Imagine that all the runners take off…except for one. This runner remains in the blocks. In his mind, he is envisioning himself in the race — legs striding out, arms pumping, racing neck and neck with the other racers. But this is only occurring in his mind. His body is still in the blocks.

I know, it’s a silly scenario. But I see this all the time when a person has an opportunity to get involved, take care of a need, solve a problem, or fill a leadership position — and he or she just sits in the starting blocks.

The Impact Graph

The Impact Graph (click on image to see full size)

On the Impact Graph, this person lives on the right side of things, the side that leans toward making no impact. The spectator and the figurehead have the chance to not only enter a race, but to run, to do something. But something keeps them from moving forward.

My hope is that students who finds themselves on the right side of the graph will begin to do the things that get them involved in such a way that they begin to make an impact.

In this post, I want to look at the section of people that fall into the “go-getter” category. These people are all about action. They step in and step up when something needs to be done. They don’t remain in the starting blocks. When things start moving, they start going. In fact, they help move events, activities, or projects forward because they are moving. The term go-getter is all about movement. A go-getter doesn’t necessarily have a position of leadership, but doesn’t really need one. This person gets things done. They influence both people and situations through their work ethic, their willingness to help, and their energy.

A go-getter can be described as someone who…

  • is self-motivated. They get involved for the right reasons and work hard for the benefit of others.
  • is willing to “do the doing” when something needs to get done.
  • is typically focused on serving others more than serving their own needs.
  • is action-oriented, willing to help behind the scenes.
  • will get their hands dirty.
  • works well on a team to use his or her gifts for the good of the team.

The go-getter is the person you want on your team when you want to accomplish something. Go-getters often find themselves moving into leadership roles, but they don’t depend on leadership roles to exert their influence. Their actions speak for themselves.

I love to be around go-getters. They are “what’s next?” kind of people. The only caution is to make sure they prioritize their activities. Go-getters may want to do everything, but they can’t do everything. Make sure you or the go-getters you know focus on what’s most important. Some great questions for go-getters are:

  • What motivates you to get things done? What rewards do you find in your work?
  • Do you ever feel like you’re doing too much?
  • What’s most important to you?
  • How can you involve others in your work to get things done?

Go-getters get things done in a variety of ways. They come to the table with different skill sets and different personalities. But at the end of the day, they are the movers on your team and in your organization. They don’t have the title and are recognized as follower more than leader, but they influence their environment through their productivity and willingness to get involved.

Next up, we’ll take a look the ultimate direction I point students toward on the path to leadership, the revolutionary.

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