How Are You Impacting Those You Meet?

I’m still digesting much of the content I took in at the Catalyst Leadership Conference in Atlanta this past October. There were so many memorable speakers and quotes it’s hard to implement everything I learned. This is why it takes time and effort to get the most out of a conference experience.

At the Catalyst Conference, Horst Schulze was a speaker. Horst is one of the founders of the Ritz Carlton. Yeah, he has a pretty impressive resume. He also has a firm grasp of leadership.

photo of expensive buildings

Photo by Macau Photo

Horst is probably best known for his way of viewing work. He instilled in his team members something special. He helped them realize everyone at the Ritz Carlton (from the busboy to the maitre ‘d to the hotel manager) were “Ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.”

This mindset permeates the Ritz Carlton culture. It was also a highlight of the Catalyst Conference.

But, I want to share something else that Horst Schulze shared at Catalyst. This is something I haven’t heard him say before. I’m guessing you haven’t either.

You Leave An Impact

A Horst Schulze quote that has stuck with me since the conference is this:

We are all impacted by the people we meet.

The quote is simple. It’s telling us that we are impacted by every person we meet. This impact can be negative, positive, neutral, or somewhere in-between.

But how often do we think about this?

We don’t. We often let the impact of meeting someone else slide under the radar. We continue to go about our day as if nothing has changed.

Yet everything has changed.

The person you met who was bagging your groceries. They left you a different person. The driver of your Uber, he may have dropped a seed of wisdom into your life. This seed may take years to germinate but you’re different because of what you heard in your Uber.

Every experience you have with every person you meet leaves you different. You are changed.

Now, I want to twist this on you…

Just think…

If every person you meet leaves an impact on you, what do you do to others? YOU LEAVE AN IMPACT TOO!

I know, I know… Hard to believe. You know it’s true, though.

A memory I have is hard to shake. Horst’s comment reinforced what I already knew but often forget…

I’ve been in youth ministry for almost 20 years. That’s a long time. It also means my life has touched many students. Sadly, there are many students I’ve met throughout the years that I’ve forgotten their names, faces, etc…

But the impact I’ve left on their life is still there.

Pam and I were walking to the Unity Christian Music Festival many years ago. As we made our way to the festival gates, a young man stopped us. He called me by name…

Then he said “Thank you. Your kindness and love during my time in youth group left a huge impression on me. It meant a lot.”


I wouldn’t have been able to pick the young man out of a crowd. Still, he was able to pick me out, remember what I did for him, and remind me of the impact I had on his life.

We are touching lives. We are leaving an impact.

You are leaving an impact on those you meet, whether the person is a new face or a long time team member. You are impacting their lives.

You have a choice. You can choose to live a life that will leave a positive impact or you can choose to live a life that people will be disgusted in knowing you.

The choice is yours. The power is in your hands. What choice will you make?

Question: Are you aware of how you’re impacting those you meet and lead? Why do you think this is important? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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