This past weekend, my daughter and I went camping at
Forestville State Park (I highly recommend the park). Like most campsites I’ve
seen at state parks, it was clean, but there is always a little bit of garbage
just a few feet into the bushes. There was a can here, a plastic water bottle
there, an empty chip bag over by that tree. You get the picture.
After we set up camp, I was walking around with a garbage
bag picking up these few items left behind by previous campers. My daughter
asked what I was doing and I said just picking up to make things better than when we found it. In camping jargon, that
is called “Leave Only Footprints.”
You can also make things better than when you found it in
your professional and personal life as well. At work, help someone without
being asked. Take that new employee under your wing and be a mentor. If someone
is binding a proposal or is moving a piece of furniture in their office, lend a
hand. If you take the last bit of coffee, make a new pot. Pick up that piece of
paper on the floor as you walk by and throw it in the garbage or recycling bin.
Leave things better than when you found them.
I’ve served on numerous volunteer boards and the same
applies. When you join a board, be an active participant. Join a committee or
serve on the executive committee. Read the board packet before the meetings,
ask questions and be engaged. You’ve joined the board to make a difference.
When your term is up, make sure you leave the board better than when you found
Instead of leaving only
footprints, leave big footprints
in you professional and personal life to show others that you were here. And
make things better than when you found them.
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