The following is an excerpt from one of my keynote speeches.

We all know the Gandhi quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Gandhi got it, man! You see, YOU are the most important part of your institution. Whether you are the CEO, chief lending officer or a marketing intern … YOU have the power to control your environment and guide your team, your company and ANY situation in a positive direction.

Sometimes things simply don’t go as planned! Lenders…you know when you have the loan all done and have verified the income, then the member’s pay stubs come in and it’s not even remotely close to what you expected? Or when the appraisals come in all wack-a-doo and throws off the deal in the eleventh hour? Or, marketers, has your institution ever changed the offer on a campaign that’s scheduled to launch tomorrow?!?  Or, and I’ve done this plenty, have you ever released materials with a serious typo in them?

When I was an advertising intern, I had a mentor that told me, “When a doctor makes a mistake, they burry it. When an attorney makes a mistake, they lock it up.  But when a MARKETER makes a mistake, they publish it for the world to see.”

Life simply isn’t scripted.

And, have you ever noticed how bad events create a domino effect?  Life would make an incredible boxer because it never hits you just once. It always comes at you with combinations.

What I’ve learned is that … often times … the way YOU react can either snowball a situation or stop it dead in its tracks.

You see, everything that we do … every reaction we give, sends ripples. Think of life like the water of a calm pond. When a feather gently lands on the top, it hardly disturbs a thing. But, toss a rock in and it causes a turbulent splash that agitates the entire pond.

It’s the same way at at work, at home, or anywhere in life. When the stuff hits the fan, you can either calm it down, like a feather, or agitate the entire institution … raising the stress-level for everyone … increasing the odds of more mistakes … and generally ruining everyone’s day!

Ask yourselves now … honestly, when stuff goes bad at your office, are you a feather or a rock … or a big damn boulder?!?!

Because YOUR actions are CONTAGIOUS!  They affect EVERYONE around you.

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