“We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?” -Steve Jobs
What an incredibly inspirational quote. It drips with visuals that require each of us to conjure up images in our mind of what that actually would look like and what would that truly mean. What would you need to do or create to put a dent in the universe? The words truly stretch the bounds of your imagination and of what we can envision.
However, I would like us to ‘rethink our dent‘ or the impact that we leave on the world around us. If each of us were truly honest with ourselves, we would admit that we have a tendency to put ‘I’ at the very center of the ‘dent’ equation. When we think of what is needed to put a ‘dent in the universe’…we think about what would ‘I’ have to do to make that a reality.
What we need to realize, especially in leadership, is that making a ‘dent in the universe’ should be seen as a team sport, rather than an individual activity. That requires a mind shift. A shift in our thinking and in our actions. Especially in our modern times. While it is true that we have gained many incredible tools and resources in the 21st century, we must also admit that we have lost our service orientation and replaced it with an individual orientation.
Those leaders who have truly made a permanent impact on our world are those who have given themselves in service to others. The true servant leaders. They are the difference makers in our lives and in our world.
Great leaders bring others together to accomplish great things. To accomplish things that they never thought possible and would not have been possible to achieve as an individual. How much more fulfilling to take others to a greater place. How much more fulfilling to see the joy and sparkle in everyone’s eyes when they have accomplished great things together. What an unforgettable experience. One in which you will be bonded with those you served with from that time forward. And that is true leadership.
So…while Jobs urged each of us to ‘put a dent in the universe’…
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminded us that “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
Live a life of impact…make your ‘dent’ by choosing to serve others…by choosing to change lives. That is a life that truly makes a ‘dent in the universe’…as its impact is reverberated for generations and generations forward.