Last month I celebrated my 11 year anniversary with my company, although I have been in the banking industry for 23 years. I like to say I started when I was 12, but that’s not quite true. Most of my career, I have spent in management. And all of my career, I have been managed. Because everyone is managed by someone.
This week I found myself pausing to reflect on the managers I have had in the past and the manager that I became through my experiences. I have been blessed to learn from some of the best. But I have also learned from the not-so-great. Regardless of the manager, I believe that everyone has something to teach us. We either learn the way we want to do things, or the way we don’t want to do things. A valuable lesson nonetheless.
I am now a corporate trainer and no longer have a team of my own to manage, but the lessons learned in the trenches will continue to impact the way I interact with people at all levels of our organization. And with everyone else I cross paths with in life as well.
Whether you manage a team of sales people or a team of toddlers, your leadership is your superpower!
Leadership gives us the opportunity to influence others. And leadership is both a distinct honor and an important responsibility. And, truth be told, leadership has no bearing on the position you hold. Leaders can lead in any job, at any level, in any place. The dynamic power of leadership is who you are, not so much what you do.
The best leaders show you what they expect in the ways they behave. These leaders walk the talk and inspire you to give your very best. They think outside the box and genuinely want to hear your opinions. They approach goals in an inclusive manner. It is “we” not “me”. They are passionate about what they do. They listen as much as they speak. They encourage others. They will fight tough battles. They are fair. They see the big picture, but don’t miss the details. They value and care about the people that they work with. They give everyone a chance to use their strengths. And they don’t dismiss people for their weaknesses. They rally the troops when times get hard. They give credit where credit is due. And there is never a question as to where they stand. They make their motives transparent. They lift you up instead of tear you down. But they have the difficult discussions about performance issues when they are needed. They give back. They put the needs of others ahead of their own. They create a positive environment. They don’t sweat the small stuff. They set the example of excellence. They follow through. They lead with actions. And there is just something about them that makes you want to follow.
“Be the leader you wish you had.” ~Simon Senek
Great leaders have a million great qualities, and I am fortunate to have adopted a tiny fraction of those qualities as my own over my career. But what I’ve gotten isn’t nearly as important to me as what I’ve given.
I can only hope that the people who have worked for me – with me – in the past learned a few good things from my leadership style. And even better yet, if it impacted their leadership in a positive way, I would be over the moon!
Today, I encourage you to applaud the leaders in your life. Remember that whether they were great, or not-so-great, they still had something to teach you. And no matter what your capacity of leadership is, know that you are a leader in many ways. Celebrate your power of leadership!
*This is the 9th post in a 31 day series called “Celebrating your Superpowers”. Catch the series from the beginning by clicking here and you will be directed to an introductory post containing links to each day’s topic. Join me in celebrating your superpowers this month!