John Sorenson is a brilliant man. A retired professor and anthropologist with expertise in Mesoamerica, I consider John a father figure of sorts. He just celebrated his 87th birthday. I had the privilege to speak with him on the phone that day. It was a memorable and invigorating conversation.
One of the questions that John asks me almost every time our paths cross is “What Has Become Clear Since We Last Met?” That question has had some impact on me. It forces me to reflect on what new distinctions, what new epiphanies, what new understandings I have acquired. Since I know he will likely ask me that question (or a variation of it) I tend to be more reflective as a result, and hone my observation skills to try to be ready to answer that query. I notice things more often now.
John’s influence on me runs deep. As a college professor myself I ask my own students that same question every week. I expect one or two of them to contribute something each time we address that question, and I also try to share something significant. We could say that John Sorenson is influencing my own students — none of whom have ever met him directly. But they have met him indirectly, through me.
Who has deeply impacted you? And, how have they done so? Can you, as a leader, as a catalyst, convey the great lessons of life you have gleaned from your mentors by sharing their wisdom with those you influence?
I invite you to systematically and habitually do so. Starting today.