I am blessed to be surrounded by over-achievers, mentors and people that motivate me to do better – to be better.
I had a chance to talk to a young man this weekend – one of hundreds who descended on Reno, Nevada to attend a leadership conference – about what it means to be encircled by people who care. And by caring I don’t mean about their work, their lives and their chosen path (as we often hear in what has become a far-too-common “me-me-me” speech)… this rockstar YoPro genuinely cared but about the work, lives and goals of others.
Clearly seen as a go-to guy by his peers, he spent several minutes talking with each person who walked up to him – and never once talked about himself. His goal, it became clear, was to help others achieve their goals.
Many times, I watched him stop a conversation with a “Wait, there’s someone you have to meet…” He would then write an email address or Twitter handle on the back of a journal, a flyer or a business card – anything with enough white space to scribble his message. With each and every person that approached him – and there were many – he wouldn’t stop until each conversation came to a productive conclusion and a grateful, well-deserved smile.
When he told me that in addition to his leadership role he held a full course load, worked two internships and had a decent personal life, I asked him how he managed to spend so much time networking and serving. His answer: that is my leadership role.
This is how he chooses to spend his time.
This infectious approach reminded me why we choose to be entrepreneurs, to make a difference and work god-awful hours. We could just settle on the 40-hour work week, do the bare minimum, play Wii or watch football even when sometimes we don’t give a crap about either team.
Instead… we spend our time connecting, motivating and innovating – and perhaps inspire others to do the same.
How will you spend your time this week?
Mark Babbitt, a passionate supporter of Gen Y talent and CEO and Founder of YouTern, is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Mashable, Forbes and Under30CEO regarding internships, higher education’s role in preparing emerging talent for the workforce and career development. Recently, Mark was honored to be named to GenJuice’s list of “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors”. You can contact Mark via email or on Twitter: @YouTernMark.