Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Using power for good

Gary has always been one of my favorites. He knows it, other people know it, and I can't deny it. But there are reasons why.

There is nothing I couldn't ask of Gary that he wouldn't do. He knows that I would do the same for him. But what's neat to me is that while I am a resource for Gary (he calls me to ask about anything from relationships to court cases...none of which I am qualified to answer, but he always asks anyway), he has become such a resource to others!

Gary grew up in the neighborhood where I live. Not all of the guys he hung with were good influences. In fact, he nearly didn't finish high school because of his connection with the other guys was always getting him in trouble, in addition to his own smart mouth with teachers who would harass him. I don't think many people expected much out of Gary.

During his first (and only) year in college, he started working at Sam's. As he began working more and more, he didn't have as much time to hang out with the guys. He has never stopped being their friend, though. I admire Gary because he didn't leave the community once he started getting his stuff together. He doesn't look down on people in his neighborhood. In fact, he stays in contact with all of the guys (he just doesn't have as much time to hang out with them anymore), and encourages them to apply at Sam's when he knows they need a job (which he recognizes that many of them do). Then, he offers to use his influence to help them get a position at Sam's. He doesn't just look for any guy, though. He recognizes that he has a reputation (and a job) to protect. If he knows the person isn't going to be dedicated to the job or if he knows them well enough to know they would lose their cool the first time someone says something to them, he doesn't hire them (or influence the hiring of them).

Gary has worked at Sam's for over 3 years now. His personality and charm, along with his dedication and commitment, has moved him up the ranks. They continue to ask him to be a Manager-in-Training (MIT), which he continues to refuse. He doesn't want the stress. (...if only I could say no to inducing stress in my life!). Despite his refusal to do the MIT program, he is still very respected at his job. Gary is in a position to help other people. He has pull. And he uses that pull for good.

Gary has figured out how to use what he has been given to help others.

What are you doing (this question is directed to myself as well) to use your power and your influence to help others?
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