Impact Others by Impacting One

Are you trying to impact the bottom line or other people?


John Williams, founder and president of the nonprofit Life That Counts, Inc., shares how we can make a greater impact in society and our organizations by focusing on personal relationships. Instead of focusing all of our attention on the company’s bottom line or “impacting tomorrow,” John believes we should try to impact the lives of others.

It’s simple to impact tomorrow, John says. “The way that we impact tomorrow, and the way that we impact everyone is by impacting one.”

Watch the video and hear John share a personal story of how to make an impact at the most personal level.

Part of my story is growing up I've never met my father. I'm approaching 40, and growing up in the environment that I did, it was driven by what I call alcohol and chaos. There were seasons in our life then where things were very tight, things were very lean. We didn't have transportation at some points. We lived in government housing during some seasons.

I remember, explicitly, one time, we walked to the grocery store to get our groceries for our new house, we walked back with the shopping cart, and we made beef stroganoff. I hate beef stroganoff. We eat it all the time. And because we forgot to purchase any plastic ware at the store, we passed around this glass ladle to eat our food with that evening. But it was amazing that we got to do it because that was an improvement. And I remember that that was the first night in my life where I got to sit down and do my homework in peace, with no yelling, no fussing, no craziness going on. And for me, it was those seasons in my life that mold you, that refine you.

So, it's been very natural starting Life that Counts and creating this organization from essentially nowhere. Working through Life that Counts, we have been able to already impact some lives along the way. One young lady came to me after an event, because in addition to our peer-to-peer mentoring programs, I also speak at schools and different events, and this young lady comes up to me after one of the speaking events. She's 12 years old, and it's when the crowd had kind of died down and I'd finally made my way to the back of the room.

And she comes up and she says, "Hey, can I talk to you for a minute?" I'm, "Yeah, absolutely. Let's talk. What do you want to talk about?" She says, "Well, I'm a self-harmer." And I said, "Okay. If you don't mind me asking, why do you do that?" And she says, "Well, when I was very young my father walked out on us. Before I became a teenager, I held my younger brother in my arms, after a car accident, when he passed away."

And I said to her, I said, "I want you to know that we love you, we care for you, we support you. There are people who are here," and I began pointing to people around the room who would remain even after we left, "who want to invest into your life and to take care of you and help you." And I think that's one of the most important things that we can do.

It's very easy to get caught up in the business of life and so easy to get caught up in to-do lists, action plans, strategic planning. How are we going to impact tomorrow? But it's really simple. The way that we impact tomorrow, and the way that we impact everyone is by impacting one.

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John Williams

John Williams' mission is to help others take radical ownership for every element of their lives. He is passionate and driven for cultural change for students and wherever people desire to do better than yesterday.

John is foun...

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