Leading With Attributes That You Can't See

Sometimes it amazes me who inspires another person to live, to lead, or to win.  What is amazing is that it doesn't have to be someone who has incredible attributes of physical strength.  It doesn't have to be someone that has the ability to even use all their physical body parts.  My experience has been, in almost all circumstances, that what really inspires people are actually attributes that you do not initially see.  Listen to the greatest person to ever inspire Bill Parcells in the clip below.

Bill talked about John Tuggle having "attributes that you couldn't see," attributes that can only be gained under times of duress.  Tuggle showed true love for the game and for those he interacted with. He wasn't the biggest guy and was the last one to be drafted that year, earning the name Mr. Irrelevant.  What people didn't see was that he carried certain attributes within him: determination, optimism, bravery and endurance. And when he was given the opportunity, he used them to not only inspire his fellow teammates to a Super Bowl Championship, but to personally inspire his coach, Bill Parcells. And he inspired them, even after his death.

He also talked about Tuggle's eyes.  He said, "It was his eyes. I can still see his eyes."  I am sure he saw those eyes a few minutes just before Tuggle's death.  Bill said he was talking with Tuggle and he said that they were the "most powerful" minutes of his life. Wow!  Here was a guy that was not physically seen by this world's standards to be "big," but he turned out to be a giant because of the attributes that people couldn't see.  

Do you have those unseen attributes gained during times of duress? More importantly, are you using those attributes to inspire others that you meet or lead? It takes gaining these attributes, and being aware of those around us, to be willing to give those "minutes" of our lives to them, to look them deeply in their eyes and to inspire them through our words and actions.

When my father-in-law's health was depleting, I was able to see him at the hospital. I reflected on how he had inspired me and I wanted to thank him while I still had the opportunity to share some "minutes" of my life.  I had missed out the first time I went to the hospital, but I was determined to talk to him the next chance I had. We ended up having the most amazing conversation. This was great and tough all at the same time; it was great to remember and laugh with him about how I asked him to marry his daughter, and yet tough because I knew why I was wanting to have this conversation with him.  I think he knew too, but I guess I was just tired of not wanting to have a conversation that may be a bit awkward. In reality, it was an inspiring experience that I will never forget. I am so glad that I took that "minute" to try to inspire him and in return, I was the one who was inspired.

Though from my experience, this is how it seems to often work.  As we focus on serving and inspiring others with our unseen attributes, we in turn will end up being the ones inspired.  Who will you give a "minute" to today or this week to those in your life? To your wife or husband? To your kids? To those you have the opportunity to lead? I highly encourage you to just do it.

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson