Blog with Joel Brookman

Impacting the Life of Others

As I write this article, I am sitting in a chair next to my father, as he lies in the intensive care unit in the hospital. It’s been less than two weeks since he was diagnosed with the most severe form of Leukemia.

The outpouring from well-wishers and the notes he has received have been extraordinary. My mother just showed me his email inbox. There must be 100 notes from people whose lives he’s impacted. I’m in awe of all the individuals that see him as a mentor or father figure. How could he have made such a dramatic impact in the lives of so many? As his son, I’ve always known what an incredible man he is, but now I’m seeing his impact on the lives of others through their eyes.

This experience drives the point that the true measure of a person’s success is not measured by possessions or the size of his bank account, it’s the impact they’ve made on the lives of others.

How has he done this? It begins with selflessness. At dinner last night my brother Adam and I were discussing my father’s unique ability to bond with people. He’s not the big personality who is the life of the party; that’s my brother Marc. He’s not the overly thoughtful person that is always reaching out to everybody; that’s my mother. My dad is the person who connects with people on their level, one on one. When he’s present and having a discussion with you, it’s all about you. He is genuinely interested in what people have to say. He will volunteer little if any information about himself unless he’s specifically asked. He has mastered the art of listening, mainly because he is genuinely interested. He also remembers what he is told. This often comes up later in conversations or at some point in a future discussion.

When you find good listeners it’s always interesting to uncover their motivation. I’ve found many people are motivated by obtaining gossip. You become disarmed because they are such good listeners but in the end, your information may end up being broadcast to large groups of people. My father has always been everyone’s confidant. You know that what is said will never be repeated.

His conversations ultimately lead to him providing guidance. In the end, this is the reason for his impact on people. His business sense combined with his intellect and pragmatism, have allowed him to impact hundreds of lives. As you think through your own idea of success, look beyond material possessions and consider your impact on the lives of others.

Posted by Joel Brookman in give of yourself, win people over and tagged .


Join the discussion by commenting below!