This past week, I have been working with a client as they prepare for a major annual meeting. The focus of the meeting is simply … Impact. I have been surrounded by that word for a few days now. You might say that this immersion has had an impact on me. Or, at least, has gotten me thinking about the word itself! It is a simple word that carries a lot of energy and momentum. It also invites a very introspective question.

What is my impact?

It’s not a matter of asking “do I make an impact?” Everyone makes an impact. The question is open-ended. Every interaction spoken or unspoken, every decision or non-decision, and every impulse acted upon or left to fade makes an impact. Sometimes the impact is sudden. More often it is subtle. Yet, both sudden and subtle are impactful. And subtle is often more lasting.

Regardless of intensity, rarely, if ever, is your impact neutral.

Regardless of intensity, rarely, if ever, is your impact neutral. Click To Tweet

Ultimately, our impact is impacted by our depth. It’s hard to consciously think through every interaction, decision and impulse. It is the intentionality of digging to the depth of our core that sets in motion an on-going consciousness that continually informs our moment-to-moment behavior and the quality of our impact.  Our behavior causes the impact. Our depth, or lack of it, impacts the consistency of our behavior. That consistency, at any moment, can cause a sudden impact … more likely a very impactful subtle one.

That’s why organizational culture is never created by behavior modification. It is created by a call to dig deeper. That call doesn’t seem familiar or sometimes even appropriate in an organization. Even worse, the dig is hard and frequently confusing. It is precisely why we often put down the shovel and settle for less. Putting the shovel down is quite impactful … and so is the next scoop you choose to dig.