When I think back on my journey to where I’m at today in my career, there is one thing that has been consistent—Leadership.
I’ve had the privilege of working for some great leaders who have also become mentors to me. Reflecting on each manager who I’ve reported to, there are certain things that have really left a mark and shaped me into the leader I am today.
There’s Stella* who took a chance on me. I was a wide-eyed go-getter who had virtually no experience with cash handling or customer service, but still she saw something in me. What Stella taught me was discipline and process help to make your life an easier one. She was processed and had high standards. I will always remember the first time she had a talk with me about my poor performance. It was the only time she needed to have that discussion, because after that—I became her top performer.
There was Jessica* who taught me to go after what I want in life. I thought becoming a banker was out of my reach, but Jessica believed in me (before I even knew I had it in myself). Jessica taught me to look for what I want in life, and go all in—leaving the fear of failure behind. Because of Jessica, I’ve sought after other roles with the same enthusiasm I learned from her.
I’ll never forget the time I had working with Joe.* What I learned from Joe is priceless and applies to all aspects of my life, professionally and personally. Joe taught me what it means to be a leader who serves. He had a way to inspire people to become something bigger than themselves. I envied how Joe captured the room with just one phrase. He believed that if I wanted to move mountains, I would be able to do that. His authentic, REAL belief in me inspired me to step outside my comfort zone often and grow as a leader.
I had the pleasure to learn from John,* who is the ultimate dream chaser. He helped me understand that dreams are worth chasing. No matter what challenges get in your way (declines, lack of money, lack of perceived results, etc)—your dream is worth fighting for. John has since left the corporate world in pursuance of his lifelong dream and it’s fantastic to see him live out his dream today!
I’ve learned from Becky* as I refine my skills and development every day. Becky taught me the importance of focusing on self-development. I’ve learned that there’s always something to improve on in your current role, no matter the tenure you have.
You don’t ever know what type of impression you’ll leave on somebody, but it’s worth considering. What impression will YOU leave on people? As a leader, you have the unique opportunity to influence and inspire people. Here are some things you can do TODAY to evoke that inspiration:
- Look for potential in individuals, and don’t be afraid to take a chance on them.
- Believing wholeheartedly in them. Not just the “I believe you can do it,” kind of belief, but really believing the BEST of people.
- Inspiring people to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Seek their opinions. Challenge their mindsets. Serve them. When you’ve got a team who is fully committed, the sky is the limit with what you can do from there!
- Encourage them to find their dream and chase after it. Get to know their dreams, their passions. Encourage them to find passion in what they do every day!
*Names used with permission or changed to protect the privacy of the individual
What were some of the leadership lessons you’ve learned from past leaders? Does it shape you into the type of person/leader you are today? Share below in the comments!