Everyone agrees that the President of the United States is in a position to influence others.  What he says, what he does, who we gives importance to, who he avoids, who he ridicules, what he wears, how he speaks, and how he reacts  influences people around the world.  We subconsciously make a note of what people with influence do (celebrities, leaders, role models, etc.).

On February 24, Obama used his position of influence to give recognition to someone who did something unthinkable.  It wasn’t a member of Congress or a figure from the political world.  It wasn’t a celebrity.  It was a bank manager from Florida who did something extraordinary.  He gave away his $60 million bonus to his employees and even his former employees who had left the company more than a year ago.

The very fact that Obama even brought up Leonard Abess is what matters.  It matters a lot.  It matters because the President of the United States is saying it.  It matters because people subconsciously take notice that a good deed was recognized by the highest office in the land.  It matters because the President is recognizing someone who did something morally right at the cost of personal well-being or profit.  It matters because the President gave the limelight to someone who put others in front of himself.

Are we in a position to influence others?  If our immediate answer was NO, take a step back, breathe, and re-think.

Everyone is in a position to influence someone.  While that “someone” may not agree with or abide by the influence we have on them, our actions and behavior do influence them.  Something doesn’t have to be consciously accepted for it to exist.

Think about who is in our sphere of influence.  Kids, grandchildren, students, your spouse, colleagues, friends, parents, bosses, etc.  Now, think about how you act, what you say, and what things you give importance to when you’re in their company.

We’ll each fill in our own blanks as to what the next steps should be.