The Power of One

The Power of One

I love this TedTalk, “Everyday Leadership” by Drew Dudley ( It really made me stop and think about the power one person can have on another, often when they don’t even realize it.

Since watching the clip, I’ve thought of several experiences in my own life where someone has had a major impact on me. At first, it was hard to think of examples, but then several came to me. I’m trying to find ways to acknowledge and thank each person. What a powerful experience it’s been!

One in particular stands out for me.

Jeanie's SeashellSeveral years ago, I took on a new role that required me to make frequent presentations to large groups of people. It made me really anxious. I would go into overdrive researching, preparing, and practicing. I paced, my stomach churned…”don’t let them see me sweat!” I would silently hope. It was agonizing.

One day as I was about to go on stage, a woman who sat beside me offered some wisdom I’ll never forget. From my memory, it went something like this: “My precious Jeanie, no one in this room knows this material as well as you do. And they have no idea what you’re about to say or not say. Don’t overthink this. When they walk away today, what three things do you want them to remember? That’s all you need to consider. Now let the rest go, and go give them some Jeanie juice.”

I never think of this experience without smiling and a sense of calm and warmth coming over me. Her compassionate message carried three simple points that literally changed me forever.

Today, every time I stand before a group I think of her. I carry with me a memento – a small seashell – as a symbol of this “power of one” moment. As I begin my presentation, I hold it in my hand, and I’m able to begin with confidence and assurance and do what I love best – focus on the people and deliver a message that I hope will deeply impact and move them.

What is your “power of one” moment?