As we travel through life we meet people who have significant impact on who we are and what we do. I have been reflecting on the human forces, beyond my family, that have shaped my leadership style. Here’s three of them:
As a teenager I was involved in Scouting and ‘Chips’ was my Venturer Leader. A man with an amazing belief in teenagers, he met each kid at their level, and inspired us to achieve our best. Whilst I’m not sure I endorse his approach with me, it worked… Telling me that I could never achieve a Queen’s Scout Award was the best way to ensure that I did!
Tamla is one of the most amazing leaders I know. Tamla is a Burmese Karen woman and I first met her 20 years ago when I was teaching English on the Thai-Burmese border. Tamla sees a problem (orphans with no access to education, newly arrived refugees without food, lack opportunities for self sufficiency), develops a solution and is able to engage others around her to make it happen. Despite the uncertainty she faces, and often with significant personal sacrifice, she continues to display a relentless commitment to her people that inspires me.
From Tamla I learned that almost nothing is impossible when you believe and persevere.
A man of incredible integrity, Russ helped me to see there were many ways of living corporate leadership, and gave me the confidence to develop my own style. He mentored me through some tricky situations, his frank and fearless feedback raising my awareness of the impact I was having on others.
From Russ I learned the importance of clarity – clarity of thinking and clarity of communication.
Who’s had the biggest impact on your leadership style? What have you learned? What would it take for you to tell them? Share your stories here.
Look around you now – who are you inspiring with your actions?
Have an Extraordinary Mother’s Day