There’s this kid in your class that I want you to notice tomorrow. She’s in that class you love — the one that makes you think — the one where the professor engages the class in lively, intellectual, controversial dialogue. This kid I’m talking about is the one that sits back and listens, and then when the time is right, he chimes in with a thoughtful comment.
I want you to pay close attention to this student. You don’t know her very well. Your crowd is a different crowd. He knows how to have fun, knows how to live like a college student, and knows what’s important. You’d probably be surprised by what she’s interested in and how much she’s enjoying college.
Ask your classmates and friends if they’ve noticed her. The best people you ask will have noticed him, even if like you, they haven’t yet met him.
There are a few reasons I want you to notice this person.
First, because he wants the same things you want. To find a way to matter — to not just be another faceless student. And to surround herself with people she enjoys, cares about, and who care about her.
The second reason I want you to pay attention to this person is because I want you to imagine him as a leader in your organization. She has this untapped leadership potential that is just waiting to be nurtured and unleashed.
Finally, I want you to really become aware of this person because their life could be dramatically changed. And you have the power to change it. Forever.
If you shake this kid’s hand, you have a chance. You have a chance to become friends, to introduce them to your friends, to introduce them to your organization, and maybe… eventually… ask him to join. If you shake their hand you’ll have a chance. If you don’t shake their hand you won’t.
Now look around again. Notice all those other people?