pigpenI always chuckle at the Peanuts character Pigpen, maybe because I’m more of a “neat-nick” than a “messy”.  In the Great Pumpkin special, the characters are dressing up for Halloween, and Pigpen tries to disguise himself, too, with a costume. But, of course, the quintessential cloud of dust and dirt swirls around him as he moves. When his friends say hello to him, even though his face is not shown, he is puzzled and says, “How did you know it was me?”

That’s just plain funny. But it is also a lesson in self-leadership and self-awareness–and maybe in personal organization, too (some people just don’t see a mess, I’m convinced!)! What evidence are you leaving in your wake that declares that you have been there at home, at work, your church, or in your community? And is that evidence positive, or a swirling cloud of something not appealing?

Leaving your mark on others can be intentional or accidental. I’m encouraging you to take the bulls by the horn and imprint the people in your world. Your encouragement and graceful interactions leave your team and family feeling optimistic and buoyant. Your planning and organization leave your events and meetings with more productivity and impact. Or, in default mode, your lack of caution and intent can lead to safety issues, flippant remarks, tardy attendance, irritated family members, and disengaged direct reports.

I could hang out with those closest to you for a couple hours and get a read on who you are and how you lead your life. It’s that apparent that we leave a footprint wherever we go. After thinking, “Whoa!” be the person you want talked about in your eulogy some day. Leave no doubt that everyone knows who you are and what you stand for!

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