I have three crystal clear memories of the shoulder tap. Let me explain. The shoulder tap is when someone acknowledges and encourages you. Points you towards a direction you may have never thought of and catches you completely off guard. "Hey have you ever thought of doing (fill in the blank)" or, " I think you would be good at ..."
Memory #1: The day my high school football coach appointed me as one of the team captains. We had an awesome team with future NFL players on it (I wasn't one of them in case you didn't know) and he actually asked me to represent the team at the start of each game's coin toss. Why did he pick me? What was it that he saw in me that I didn't?
Memory #2: I was a seating host at Black Angus restaurant the summer after I graduated high school. I greeted people, took their names, told them how long they had to wait, listened to them complain about how long they had to wait, and kindly walked them to their seats. One day, the General Manager approached me and said, " You know Tony, I've been watching you and you would make a great manager one day". Why did he point that out? I was just a host...
Memory# 3: The middle school I was an Assistant Principal at for three years was a training ground for the job I have today, the Principal of an elementary school. During my second year on that job, my boss (the Principal) said, "I would feel just fine if I took a job somewhere else and you became this school's Principal, Tony". Why did she make that statement? Was she serious? Could I actually run a school?
In all the of these cases, I believe the individuals who left such a profound impact on me, never intended to do so. They may have been doing, asking, or saying what they meant at the time but, would never know the internal stirring they caused. This stirring eventually became a core belief within me that propelled me into motion.
Has this ever happened to you... The shoulder tap? Maybe something a complete stranger noticed. Have you ever shoulder tapped someone else? Maybe you have and don't even know...