Leadership: What’s the Real Scoop?
I’m sitting on a plane to Hawaii right now. A well-deserved….and needed vacation with my better half. Last night before I left, I was chatting with my business guru buddy, Robin Bienemann from Crimson Rook, about leadership. She said: lots of people talk about it (leadership), write about it – but what is it really and how do you transition from manager to leader?I’m paraphrasing as this XX year old brain forgets what I said 2 seconds ago. Sorry Robin. Anyway, it got me thinking – hey there’s a blog in here somewhere. Ergo – today’s latest.
When I think of leaders, I think of the following:
- My first business mentor, Art Weber of Sir Speedy Printing in Winston-Salem NC. I started there as a customer service rep through a temp agency making 8 bucks an hour – give or take a few pennies. I was a stay at home mom, looking to get back into the working world – oh and with a divorce on my mind. Mr. Weber pulled me aside early on and told me I had what it takes to make a great salesperson. He changed my world. Mr. Weber ran a tight ship, expected nothing less than perfection. He was, and is, well respected by his family, his employees, and his community. A true leader. Thank you Mr. Weber for the inspiration, the knowledge, and the confidence you instilled in me almost 25 years ago.
- My Dad – Bill Hageman. We had a rough relationship but in the end, he was a leader. Involved in his community, teacher, volunteer, and single parent after my Mom died at the age of 45. He never followed – perhaps he was too ornery or stubborn to do so. He instilled in me a sense of defiance, risk taking, and altruism. Dad also died too young at the age of 66 – I often wonder what his retirement years might have been. Would he be running Bernie Sanders’ campaign in CT? Probably, as he always said There’s always someone out there who has it worse off than you do…so suck it up– He took care of those people, and us.
- Onto the famous – Richard Branson. I love his leadership style: Employees first, clients second, and shareholders third. For him a job shouldn’t be a chore, but an adventure in life. Something to be savored. He has a zest for life, a passion for his company and let’s, face it –he’s just damn cool. I want my employees to feel like Branson’s employees. Except I would be one cool dudette vs. one cool dude.
- Pope Francis. Ok – so the Catholic girl in me survives. I’m far from a loyal one, but I do love our latest Pope. He is so incredibly transparent and true to his word. Even my daughter the self-proclaimed I’m now an atheist after years of catholic school adores this guy. He’s changed the way us non-practicing Catholics view our heritage. I might even head back to church. Chelsea (aka the atheist daughter) might even join me. To be continued…..
- Last but surely not least it’s all the visionaries out there. The folks that care about their team and believe in their companies or their causes. The ones who haven’t given up – they decide to be generals and not drill sergeants – the leaders of tomorrow. Keep it up – we need you. In the end being an owner or leader of a team does not make you a LEADER. Leaders are visionaries –managers are doers and implementers. The world needs both – but I can tell you when a company or cause lacks a leader, it will struggle and ultimately perish.
That’s my PSA for the day – hope you enjoyed it.