Kindness Leaves A Mark

A close friend of mine turned 80 last week.
He’s a private person so I won’t name him, but suffice it to say that over the course of his long life he has touched thousands of lives.
But what makes my friend extraordinary is that all of them would say that he influenced them in a positive way. That’s not an exaggeration. Rather it’s a testament to being a good person, someone who wakes up every day seeking to do good in the world.
A common thread ran through the small birthday celebration:  words like kindness, generosity, fun and humility came up time and time again during tributes.
When I left the festivities I thought that’s how it’s supposed to be.
If you live the right way, you will be remembered for your kindness and generosity toward others.
The people we remember, the people who make an impact are those who touch our hearts.
I’ve become absolutely convinced that emotional intelligence is the single biggest predictor of true success in life.
If you can find a way to touch people, make them laugh, show them you care, tell them you believe in them you can move mountains.
I’ve seen it happen.
The best leaders I’ve known have inspired lots of love and affection.
Close readers of this blog know that I’m fascinated by leadership. I believe it’s the answer to most challenges and problems we face.
Put the right leaders in the right seats on the bus and you’ll succeed.
It is not a complicated concept. Yet it sometimes feels so elusive.
Emotionally intelligent leaders get the best out of people. It’s just that simple.
I’ve seen it in business, I’ve seen it at non-profits, fire departments, police departments, a chamber of commerce, arts organizations, a city attorney’s office (here’s looking at you Susan) and in schools.
So perhaps as we go about our lives we should think about what might be said about us at our 80th birthday parties if we are so fortunate to make it that far.
I’d take kind and generous.
It sure beats the alternative.
Plus, we can all use a lot more kindness and generosity in our world.


  1. Agnes Torchio says

    Beautifully said.

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Thanks so much my friend…I know they will say kind things about you when you hit that milestone. Hope all is well, Jeff

  2. It really does leave a lasting impression when somebody does something that is indisputably kind and generous, especially in a highly competitive business environment. It just leaves a lasting impression that is hard to escape. I had business mentors early on in my career who took long flights and booked nights out of their own budgets just to train me and build a relationship with me. They did this also to assess and make sure we could work together, but down the road you just realize that people had a million different options of what to do with their time, and they took the time to do something kind for me. It builds loyalty. In a new chapter of my life where I am beginning to get more civically involved in my community, I am starting to see it again, and it is special to see it happening again. I won’t name any names yet, but I do try to put into practice lots of what you just communicated in this article. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Well said Charles. I and others look forward to watching your civic journey. I’m rooting for you.

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