Simple, everyday influence

November 17, 2021

By Jeff Becraft


Apparently I use the phrase, “That’s what you got,” on a regular basis. In fact, someone was talking with me this week about doing some podcasts on leadership and he commented, “We could call it, ‘That’s what you got.'”

Actually, I picked up that phrase from a guy named Jim Logan. Jim was my boss over 30 years ago. His grandkids dubbed him Datchee and so I have called him Datchee ever since.

I have kept up with Datchee and his wife, Carol, over the years. They live in Virginia. And sometimes if I am trying to break up the trip to Maryland, I will call and ask, “Can I get a reservation at Datchee World?”

Working with Datchee every day and rubbing shoulders with him every day, I began to pick up things from him. Now, a lot more than just “that’s what you got” rubbed off on me. He is still someone I go to for advice.

But this is a great picture of just how much influence we have on those around us… and we may not even know it.

Recently I was at an office and I said to the receptionist/office manager, “You have a very important job.  Because of what you do, everything that is going on back there can happen (pointing to the other parts of the building). Not only that, you are the first person that people have contact with when they walk through that door. You are the one who sets the tone of what goes on in here.”

I have learned from all kinds of people (especially my Dad) to treat people like people and to interact with them as a person. But to say something very specific to a receptionist like I did, I learned from a person named Steve Von Fange… who happened to be someone who influenced a lot of people’s lives.

These are just a few examples of people who have influenced me simply by being around them. Too often, we think that if we want to have an impact on people’s lives, it has to be some big grandiose thing. When in reality, it could be very simple, everyday moments and actions that can set the atmosphere and affect someone’s life.

So as they say… that’s what you got.


Jeff Becraft is the Executive Director for Youth Corps and has dedicated much of his life to helping shift the vision of people’s lives.  Youth Corps is a life-changing leadership development experience that inspires high school students to be leaders in the Midlands and beyond. You can connect with Jeff at [email protected].