There are two ways to become the type of leader that people will remember their entire career. You can make those you lead feel BIG or you can make those you lead feel small.
This week’s blog is to serve as a thank you to the leaders I have worked for in both categories.
To those that made me feel BIG:
Thank you for your kind words. The thoughtful cards, notes and emails you sent have been saved and I reflect on them often. They make for a good ‘pick me up’ on days where the job gets tough. I want you to know that as much as I appreciate the monetary reward, perks, and cool SPIF’s you offered, one of the things I will treasure the most are the inspiring words you spoke to me when times were tough. Some of my favorites were simple and unscripted. I knew when they were spoken that they were genuine and heartfelt.
- ” I know you can do this.”
- ” Every time I ask you for a dime, you bring back a quarter.”
- ” We can put our heads together to plan but when it comes time to execute, you’ll need to do it on your own. I need to know you have what you need because second place won’t work.”
- ” The team depends on you.”
- “Thank you”
These are only a few of the many inspiring things you said. What made them so powerful was the combination of the timing, the connection, the relevance, and the words themselves. In those moments, you made me feel like I could do anything; you made me feel like any goal was possible; you made me want to work harder; you made me achieve more than I thought I could; you made me feel BIG. I felt great reward when I knew I made you proud. There was great confidence that came from the time you spent with me. Much of my creativity and good ideas stemmed from your ability to paint a clear vision of the future, you helped me dream of what could be. My motivation came from the way you connected me to something great. I felt BIG because I knew you wouldn’t let me waste time in minutia. I knew we would create great things together.
You made me want to be a better leader. You made me want to serve others. You set the bar high and even though we no longer work together, I want you to know that you still inspire me. I think of you when I’m tired and want to quit. I wonder what you would tell me when think of taking the easy path. When I’m not sure I know the right words to say to my team in the tough moments, I think of you. When I’m afraid to speak up, I reach inside for the confidence you put there. Thank you for all of that. I will remember you and how BIG you made me feel every day for the remainder of my career.
To those that made me feel small:
Thank you for the lessons of what not to do. I will remember you and your lessons for the remainder of my career also.
I hope someday you get to work for someone who makes you feel BIG. It will change your life.