I was walking along Orchard Road when I passed a man sitting in a wheelchair selling packets of tissue.

I did not need any more tissues, but decided I ought to make a donation towards meeting his needs anyway.  When I offered him my donation, I indicated I did not want the packets of tissue, and proceeded to walk away.

He called out to me: “Come sir!”  He them offered me a packet of “ang pows” – the little red envelopes the Chinese usually use for holding cash to be given out as gifts during the Chinese New Year.

The “ang pows” the man handed me contained no cash, but carried the Chinese phrase “大吉大利” (dà jí dà lì), which is used to wish others happiness, luck, and wealth.

What impressed me was that he had an alternative plan to thank people like me who are happy to help out but would prefer not to take the packets of tissue he was offering.

I consider that a wonderful illustration of leadership:  always being prepared for the situation when things do not work out as we hope by taking the time and effort to think ahead and think up an alternative plan of how to offer good in a different way.


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