“No, you’re good. I saw what you did out there, helping that lady. The smoothie’s on us.”
It was late in the afternoon on a Friday and I was at the office.
I received a text from my wife, “Was wondering if you can take a break and bring us smoothies because the baby is sleeping and the other kids want one….and me to.”
What did this loving husband do?
I responded so beautifully, “Haha. You’re ridiculous.”
And then, of course, I stopped at Smoothie King on the way home.
I was in a bit of a hurry. I was tired. I was also thinking about how much I wanted to get home and start the weekend.
I got out of my car and walked toward the entrance to Smoothie King, but directly in my path was a woman with the hood of her car propped open and a dead battery.
I thought I’d go in, place my order and then come back out to help her. Then, I changed my mind and before going in the store, I stopped and asked her if I could help.
I pulled my car in beside her car and jumped her battery.
I gave her directions to the nearest auto parts store so she could get her battery tested and replaced, if needed.
She thanked me and I entered Smoothie King.
I placed the order for my wife.
I pulled out my wallet.
The young man behind the counter said, “No, you’re good. I saw what you did out there, helping that lady. The smoothie’s on us.”
COOL! A Free Smoothie!
But it’s so much more than just a free smoothie.
Even just witnessing an act of kindness has medical benefits. It boosts our immune system and remains elevated even an hour after witnessing others being kind. So you don’t even need to spend the extra money on the Immune Support scoop, just watch someone do something kind!
The truth is that we are hard wired to be kind. The nice guy at Smoothie King didn’t have to give me a free smoothie, but seeing me do something kind for someone else compelled him to want to do something kind in return.
It feels good to be kind.
An important leadership message is hidden in this story and that’s the role that the actual business played. This employee had the authority and autonomy to make a decision, in the moment, to treat a customer well. He didn’t have to call a supervisor. He didn’t say, “Don’t tell my boss.”
What are you doing to equip your people to be kind?
Are you giving them the authority and autonomy to be kind?
Do your people know that your expectation is that they will treat prospects, customers and colleagues with kindness?
Another lesson that’s hidden in this story is a mistake I made. Did you catch it?
When first seeing the woman needing help, I thought I would order my smoothie, then help her.
Often our first reaction to situations will be to help ourselves first. It’s not bad to take care of ourselves, however, great leaders are ones who think of others before themselves.
The next time you have an opportunity to help someone, I encourage you to put them first. Stop what you’re doing. Sacrifice your time or energy. Invest you emotions or resources.
And show someone that you care enough to make them your top priority.
Putting someone else first communicates perfectly that you care for them.