Bruce Francois

How to Make an Impact in the Workplace

There is perhaps no other area where it is more tempting to have a self-centered disposition than in the workplace. Our professions, often times, are all about upward mobility, getting the next raise, or accomplishing the next thing. Our materialism often hinges upon the money we earn in our professions. It’s because of all of this that the workplace is often viewed as a space for people to get whatever it is they want in life.

Because this is the area where selflessness, servant-leadership, and our inherent connectedness to one another has been neglected, it is also the area where we have the greatest opportunity for impact; the greatest opportunity to serve one another; the greatest opportunity to come alongside one another in life’s many struggles; and the greatest opportunity to accomplish something together. It is a space that needs to be reclaimed as something that is not for individual gain and instead for our society’s gain collectively. The question that each of us must answer is: How do I live out a selfless spirit of giving and making an impact while living in a system that is designed to fuel and exploit our selfish instincts?

A hot topic in the global workplace today is branding. But the word “brand” is overused in our culture and has been cheapened. Unfortunately, branding has mostly become about perception—what people think you are when they experience your polished marketing campaign or perfected social media page. But if you’re looking to make an impact through how you live your life, consider a different definition of “brand”: what people truly experience when they personally interact with you.

Under this definition, your brand has nothing to do with how much money you make, your title, status, influence, or how your life looks materially. Your brand is your unique, positive imprint on everything and everyone. Considering what experience you are leaving with those who you interact with is incredibly valuable and insightful to you as you live out your purpose. Challenge yourself to grow and develop in areas that are not only specific to your job function, but can also help you in other areas of your life. Evolve your work skills into life skills.

Similarly, your signature is a “marked effect” or influence that you create. Your signature is a marked impression for remembrance, like a tattoo. Everything that makes an impact—whether positive or negative—leaves a signature behind. Your name—your signature—is directly attached to your impact. Therefore, you have to be intentional and conscious about what you want others to remember about you and what tattoo/signature you’ll leave behind.

Really consider the marked effect that you are leaving on others in the workplace, within your profession, at home, and in your community. Remember, people generally won’t remember someone’s success or brilliance—they’ll remember a person’s character, integrity, or how a person made them feel. They’ll remember how a person invested in them, came alongside them in their challenges, or intently listened to them as they shared their personal dreams and struggles. Your signature is an extension of your brand, and your impact is a signature of you.

As a society, we have been focusing on all the wrong things. Our jobs and professions, yes, are about working hard and striving to accomplish our goals, but they are also about impacting one another in the process. How will people experience you? How will people remember you? What will be your marked effect on those around you? Learn the keys and principles to discover your unique personal brand to make an impact in life here.