A friend recently posted a quote from an unknown source on his social media page. It stated that a person who cannot give up anything can change nothing. In the comments that followed, he explained his reason for agreeing with the original author stating that even a small act of kindness required courage, risk, and sacrifice.

This got me thinking about how Great Leaders view small acts of kindness. They do not, in my opinion, see them as a sacrifice; of time, of resources, of value. Rather, I believe that Great Leaders see these acts as investments in others.

Great Leaders take the positive point of view that they do not pay the cost of something; that they somehow have lost value or been diminished for having helped another. Great Leaders recognize that the giver in these situations is also enriched; been made to feel good about their act. Even better, Great Leaders know that they made a difference in the life of another. They do not need to know whether the difference was large or small; just that someone else benefited from their action.

Lest we think that the Great Leader has provided this act of kindness for purely selfish reasons, ask yourself these questions …

  • When someone complimented you on a job well done, did it make you feel that your effort had been noticed and appreciated?
  • When someone offered you a word of encouragement, did it make you believe in yourself just a little bit more?
  • When someone helped you do something without being asked to help, did it help you believe in the goodness of others just a little more than you did before?

While there are many more questions that could be added to the list above, I believe that you can see how you benefited from the act of another. Odds are, you may have, in that moment, crossed paths with a Great Leader or someone who is on the road to becoming a Great Leader. Please keep this in mind the next time you see an opportunity to commit a small act of kindness. It could make a far larger impact on the life of another than you can ever imagine.

Tom Hoisington is a speaker, trainer, and author whose goal is to provide leaders and potential leaders with tools that empower them to build teams that are creative and cost effective along with a clearer understanding of how personality types interact within those teams. He can be contacted at

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