When you think about your best boss what traits come to mind?
For me I think:
- Calm but commanding
Not unlike my best friends, my best leaders picked the ball when I dropped it, no problem. They sat with me for hours teaching and guiding me. These moments are so valuable in your development! Not only that, but they talked to everyone from the janitor to the CEO with the same kindness.
These traits can be classified under "Servant Leadership."
In my MBA we have studied many types of leadership and this one is by far my favorite! Robert Greenleaf popularized the idea in the 1970s, but it is really as old as time. The best leaders are humble. They work hard and they give the credit to those underneath them. As he explained:
"The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?"
When I think back to internships and other times I first started working in the corporate world - I had completely the wrong attitude! I was ambitious (a good thing) but a bit cocky (a bad thing). I thought that working in finance meant dealing with big $ and big decisions! Instead, I was scanning papers and formatting spreadsheets in the right shade...
It took me a bit but I had a huge epiphany not too much later. These tasks I was doing, however menial they felt, were SUPER important! They freed up time for decision makers to effectively see data and make decisions.
Not only that, but every time I instantly answered emails and made my business partners feel comfortable, I was building relationships! Not too much later, they were reaching out to bounce interesting ideas off of me and eventually, saying good things to my management that led to promotions and unique opportunities. These business partners are my biggest advocates and I will have these relationships for life!
Now the harder task, in my opinion, is carrying this attitude forward into our daily lives. How can we treat our friends and family in compassionate ways in which we serve them? Let me know when you find out! :D