The Lay Away Story

A Critical Doer has a servant spirit 

I heard a heartwarming story on the radio this week that really touched on the essence of being a Critical Doer.  At Walmarts across the nation, lay away bills have been paid in full by anonymous givers.  I’m talking the entire layaway department of a Walmart store folks, with sums that well exceed $100,000.  In fact, Walmart officials stated they have seen the highest number of six figure lay away payoffs ever.  Can you imagine the joy of shoppers who had been paying diligently who suddenly discovered their obligation was paid in full?  I can.

When my wife and I were just starting in marriage, we were poor and struggling as many young couples tend to be.  There was a certain pair of sneakers she wanted so we put them on layaway.  I’ll never forget how happy she was when I had picked up a few extra dollars and decided we to use them to get “her shoes.”  A special thing she wanted was now hers after working and waiting…and honestly, I think my happiness in getting those darn shoes was at least equal if not greater than hers for finally having “her shoes.”

As Critical Doers, we understand that our capacity for accomplishment increases when we use the platform of leadership to give rather than to get.  The Walmart example is a great leadership model in that someone took unprompted initiative to make things better for others.  The recipients have now experienced something they couldn’t have previously imagined.  In turn, many of them will do in kind for others in some way to pass along the joy they experienced.

This is how leadership and the capacity for action grows.  A leader takes a moral stand to do everything in their control to increase the capacity and fulfillment of their organizations knowing those investments will lead to innovation, efficiency, sales, and a competitive advantage.  They don’t wait for permission, company policy, publication of a glitzy self-help book or anything else…they simply do the right thing because it is the right thing to do.

Your challenge is to learn from this powerful example of leadership from the holiday season.  Find a need in your organization and address it.  If you simply do the right thing for the right reason, you will be amazed at how capacity grows when motivated people respond to a caring leader.  Find that thing your people have had, metaphorically speaking, on lay away and get them connected now.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: December 20, 2015 — 2:30 pm