If you’ve met me for the first time, it will take you only 10 minutes to figure out I love espresso … and lots of it!  It will come as no surprise that I always find and frequent the coffee shops that have the best espresso in town.

So, there I was in line at my favorite coffee shop where I always stop by to order a quad shot espresso. I was second in line.  The customer in front of me finished giving her order. I approached the counter to give my order and as I started to say “quad shot espresso” to the young cashier, the young barista reached out and handed me a cup and said “here you go” with a big smile.

Noticing the perplexed look on my face, she smiled and said, “I noticed that you always order quad shot espresso, so I took a chance that you will order the same and made it for you while you were waiting in line”.

I could feel a big smile beginning to form on my face and my heart filled with incredible appreciation and love for this young barista who totally, absolutely, fantabuliciously made my morning.

I told her so and thanked her making my morning one of the happiest mornings; that I was absolutely impressed with her leadership, customer service and kindness.  I promised her that I was going to call the manager and tell him how she turned my morning to an absolute delight!

This was a few months ago, but every time I think about her, I feel the same happiness and gratitude I felt when this wonderful event took place the first time.

This is what I call “leading” at its best!

You see, I believe there is a big difference between “leadership” and “leading”. Leading is all about influence.  If you take a look at the dictionary, you’ll see that influence is defined as “the power to have an important effect on someone or something. If someone influences someone else, they are changing a person or thing in an indirect but important way.” To me, this is the absolute definition of “leading”.   I can assure you, that is exactly what the young barista did for me.  She definitely influenced my day … goodness … she influenced me to this day because I think about what she did often and it still makes me feel happy.

This young barista was watching her customers, not only watching, she was paying attention to them.  She was taking notice of her customers who are there regularly.  We all want to be seen and heard. She was seeing her customers and hearing what they like and want. I certainly felt heard and seen by her. There is no question.

And most importantly, she took a risk… she took the risk by making my order before I even put it in and the risk she took paid off.  She now has a customer who still appreciates her months later and definitely is a regular customer in her coffee shop.


Leading is all about what she did. Watching, listening, observing, noticing, and taking a risk to influence the lives of the people around you; your colleagues, your team, your friends, your family.

How are you leading?  Are you waiting to be given the authority and the power to create influence?  Or are you leading and creating change, and influencing lives without a title?

How does reading about this young lady influence you?  I would love to have a conversation with you about this.  Why not click here to schedule a time for us to talk about leading, influence and creating lasting change?  Who knows what magic we might discover.

This is your day! Lead Fearlessly,

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