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Zig Ziglar would tell the story of a woman, Gerry Arrowwood, he hired to help him in demonstrating the pots and pans he was selling. At that time Ziglar would go into a home and demonstrate his wares by preparing a meal for his hosts and up to six other couples. Miss Arrowwood agreed to accept the position on one condition, she was never to be called on to lead any part of the demonstrations. She was there to help prepare the food, clean up and support Ziglar.

A few months into their working relationship, Ziglar overbooked himself. He asked Arrowwood to deliver some of the pots and pans he had sold at one party. Doing so meant delivering the pots and pans and showing the homeowners how to use the wares by preparing an actual meal for the family. Arrowwood said no. She could not do it.

Fortunately for Ziglar, she had a change of heart. Knowing his character and integrity would suffer if the deliveries were not made, Arrowwood reluctantly agreed to make the deliveries and spend time with the families. The next day, the phone call she made to Ziglar was unexpected. She was so excited that she could not stop speaking of the great and fun time she had. “I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun.” She said.

That night changed Gerry Arrowwood’s life forever. She became a new person – actually a new, improved version of the same person. Why? Because she wanted to? No. because she thought it would be fun? Absolutely not. She was terrified. The reason Ms. Arrowwood agreed to the assignment is that she wanted to help someone out. She did it because she cared. Don’t miss this, one of life’s greatest lessons. Our desire to care for others will lead us to places beyond our own imagination.

The experience of that one night opened her eyes and heart revealing hidden skills and abilities beyond her previous recognition. And the doors of opportunity began to open as well. A few short years later, Gerry Arrowwood became the international vice president of sales training for a leading multi-million-dollar cosmetics company.

Not only is it important that we not overlook the hidden skill and abilities in our own lives, but we must never underestimate that which lies within those persons in our circle of influence. As a leader our number one objective should always be to help unearth and build on the skillsets of others. Who knows, you be assisting the next vice president of an international leading company.

Beginning today, what will you change in your life to be more observant of the qualities that rest beneath the surface of those you associate with? How will you help him/her uncover and develop those attributes? You can be the catalyst for the Gerry Arrowwood’s in your life.

George Yates is the Church Health Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, assisting churches and individuals in pursuing God’s purpose for life. Learn more at ALSBOM.org/revitalization.

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