I love to help others perform at their best. There’s an old adage from scouting that I was taught growing up, “leave a place better than you found it”. We can apply this principle to almost everything we do in life. The idea of “leave the world a better place” has become my mantra, my goal, my purpose in life. The quote actually comes from the founder of Scouting, Lord Robert Baden-Powell:
Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.
Baden-Powell, Farewell Message (1941)
In scouting, that meant we left the campsite cleaner than we found it. If we had an event at the church building, we cleaned it up and put the tables back as they were supposed to be. No matter what condition we found a place, we always left it better than when we arrived.
Applying the Principle
My career has been blessed by many great organizations and leaders who have taught me how to succeed in business and in life. I’ve had great success in turning around businesses and organizations. I have used my skills in strategic planning to help organizations see their full potential and make positive steps to deliver breakthrough results. And I have been the trusted advisor and coach to many leaders at various levels in organizations of all sizes.
We can apply this concept to “leave the world a better place” in our jobs as well. Here are some examples of leaving something better than you found it:
- When asked to step in and help someone solve a problem, you do it without expectation of recognition or reward.
- If you see something wrong (eg. a typo on a co-workers work product) you correct it, so they won’t look bad.
- When given the opportunity to recommend a solution, you do so by only thinking about the benefit to the organization, not how you as an individual will benefit.
At the essence of this principle is the concepts of humility and grace. Be humble enough to not do things out of selfish ambition, and show grace to those who need a helping hand.
I have spent my career in organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 corporations to small and medium-sized businesses and organizations; from government contractors to private equity business ventures. I became a Certified FocalPoint Business Coach because it allows me to do what I do best, help companies and organizations perform at their best by supporting and training their leaders. This has allowed me to fulfill my goal in life, to leave this place better than I found it.