As I look back over the course of my career it is easy to identify the people that really made a difference in my professional life. The leader who gave me a chance when I didn't have the "perfect" amount of experience...my first management job as a young leader trying to figure it all out...and a couple of other important moves as life moved along.
Those moments stay with us, and the leaders who helped us will never be forgotten. Wow, think about that for a minute. Those leaders will never be forgotten!
Who They Were
Take a moment and think about one of those influential people in your life. Picture their face in your mind. What did they do that made them so special? Was it their honesty, willingness to listen, or support for you and your team members? How did they behave? Did you worry about their mood, or were they a steady leadership presence that could be relied on to "be there" day after day?
Who They Were Not
I'm willing to bet that none of you would describe your person as "an excel whiz" or a "master at budgets" or "really punctual." No, those aren't the traits of people who are influential in a positive way. While these traits and skills are important, they are not differentiators.
Maybe You're Next
Wouldn't it be terrific if one of your employees was asked to describe one of the most influential and supportive leaders in their career someday...and they immediately thought of you? Consider that point the next time you're interacting with your colleagues. You never know who you're impacting at any moment.
Lead the way!