Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

Most people would have thought nothing of it.

Some might have picked it up and thrown it in the trash.

Some might have picked it up and taken it home.

Thankfully, not everyone thinks the same way and not everyone reacts in ways that make their own life easiest.

It's an excellent lesson for those who want to -- or already claim to be -- leaders.

Please, then, let me tell you the story of a man who was walking through a Japanese shopping mall.

We don't know his name. But we do know his Twitter handle is BYRD.

As he strolled, he suddenly looked down and saw an acorn on the floor. 

BYRD ignored all the choices most people would have taken. Instead, his first thought was that a child may have dropped it.

So he did what few would have done. He took it to the Lost And Found.

Charming, you might think.

Blissfully thoughtful, too.

Surely, though, the person at the Lost and Found would smile wistfully, take the acorn and mentally file it under "Yeah, alright. Whatever."

Instead, when BYRD got to the Lost And Found, he found two people looking lost.

It was a mother and daughter who were actually looking for that very acorn.

The most moving part of the story is surely BYRD's initial thought process.

His instinct was not to just go on his way, but to consider the background to the fallen acorn.

And, indeed, to consider that this acorn might have been important to someone else.

Kiyo Yamauchi, who posted the translated tale to Twitter, says the mom tracked BYRD down on Twitter and told him her daughter can't stop thinking about him and wants to marry him one day.

Which, again, is charming.

The tweet also incited others to post their stories of remarkable thoughtfulness and kindness.

While stories like this might incite a warm glow, leaders might consider how such a warm glow might be important in their careers.

Think of all the times we go through our lives too busy -- or merely too self-involved -- to consider anyone else.

We have things to do. We have things to achieve. It's all about us. 

We're often even worse at the office than we are in the rest of our lives. Work, we tell ourselves, isn't about helping others, it's about succeeding for ourselves.

That's how you become a leader, right? You climb a ladder, sometimes trampling over others, because you're determined, strong and dynamic.

Yet some might wonder whether the very definition of leadership lies in your ability to think about others and help them.

It isn't just about getting to the top by any means possible.

It's about showing that you have the ability to think about others, about their lives and aims, and creating an atmosphere where your employees feel you consider their feelings, not just your own.

You might one day be faced with a similar situation to BYRD. 

You notice something. Ordinarily, your first instinct might be to pass it by. 

Instead, it's worth considering whether that something may have a far greater meaning for your employees -- and whether the fact you realize that may help them to see you in a better, surprising light.

The mere act of stopping, thinking and acting thoughtfully in the interests of others is something of a lost art, especially in our fractious times. 

But, as BYRD showed, it can be found.

And when you find it, you never know what might happen.

In other news, the Boston Globe reported that there are a lot of acorns on the ground this fall.

Published on: Oct 5, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.