My husband is a cop. Resist the urge to stereotype; you’d be wrong. Unless, of course, you are thinking of Officer Friendly. That’s Patrick. He cares deeply about the citizens he serves. Sadly, there’s been a rise in homelessness in our city. His police chief empowers her officers to meet the needs of the people they encounter, so Patrick knows he can be creative in how he helps.
Recently, he was walking through the aisles of our local Ace Hardware, looking for affordable ponchos to hand out to homeless folks during a rainy week. He was approached by Dylan, a young worker at the store, who asked if he needed assistance. Patrick shared what he was looking for and mentioned that he’d previously seen some more affordable ponchos on the shelves than the ones currently on display. Dylan took down all the quality ponchos he had in stock and offered them to Patrick at $2.99 each, the price of the out-of-stock, more affordable ones. Surprised, Patrick let Dylan know that was amazing, but he didn’t want to get him in trouble with his manager. Dylan shared that his manager values giving back to the community and would support the gesture. Clearly, he was empowered to act.
Last week I took my son to get his flu shot at our corner CVS. As I checked him in, I realized I hadn’t signed myself up for one. Francesco, the pharmacist helping me, instantly offered to add me to the list so I could get a shot right then. As I thanked him, he said, “You are in my ecosystem. If you weren’t here being a customer, I wouldn’t have a job. I am happy to help.” I was so touched by his willingness to serve. Clearly, Francesco was empowered to act.
While our voices matter, we are heard much more by our actions. Especially by our actions to serve, support, and care for others. How can you empower the people in your office, your team, and your life to help others? What example are you setting with how you serve? What messages do your actions send?
Leaders are heard by what they do. Speak loudly with your actions. Not only will you bring value to others, but you’ll also empower with your example.