One thing you learn as you get older is that sometimes, the harder you try to do something, the less effective you become.
Think about the ballplayer that tries to hit a home run every time he's up at the plate, compared to the one who tries to make solid contact in each at-bat.
Or think about the veteran movie star who takes a role hoping to use it to win an Oscar, but ends up "chewing the scenery," compared to the no-name actor who surprises you with a debut performance.
Well, it's the same thing with "impressing" people.
When you try to impress people, you usually go a couple of steps too far. They see that you're not yourself. That you're "forcing" it. And they don't relate to it.
Basically, people don't like being hit over the head with a sledgehammer.
But when you lead or impress them by example, quietly and consistently, that example has a good chance of sinking in and sticking with them.
Derek Jeter and Tom Brady are great examples of, well, leading by example.
They've never had to get up and announce, “We gotta be consistent, we gotta work hard!” They are so true to that mentality themselves, they practice it so consistently, that people just know it's who they are.
I'm not saying these two captains don't get up in their teammates' faces now and then; I'm sure they do.
I'm saying that that's not why their teammates listen to them and want to follow them.
It's because they work hard and do their job every. Single. Day.
I'd like to think that I'm the same way at the office.
When I’m at the office, people know I want them to work hard and do everything they can to win, because they see me doing just that. Every. Single. Day.
There's really no other option, anyway. If I lectured them a lot, they'd turn a deaf ear to me pretty soon.
I have to lead by example.
I was fortunate to have a great mentor when I was young, a man who taught me consistency in the same way: the head chef at my old summer camp, Alzie Jackson.
So my question to you is - Who do you want to impress?
How are you going about it?
Quietly and consistently? (correct)
Or with a sledgehammer? (wrong!)