Celebrating Exceptional Leaders on Boss’s Day: A Grateful ReflectionOct 16, 2023
Boss's Day provides us with a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the importance of leadership development, a facet of leadership that often goes overlooked in research but remains critical for the sustained success of any organization. On this special day, I'd like to share what I've gleaned about exceptional leaders and extend my heartfelt gratitude to those who have played pivotal roles in shaping the person I am today.
Recently, I found myself at an event where we were prompted to compile a list of individuals who had invested in our growth. As I began jotting down names, it was my mother and some of my teachers that initially came to mind. But then, my hand continued to write as I reminisced about the leaders who had devoted their time and effort to nurture my professional development. I owe a significant part of my journey to these remarkable individuals who not only believed in me but also challenged and supported me as I evolved.
Today, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Harris (my first boss), Marcy, Mace, Edie, Joyce, Colleen, Ginger, and Bill. I realize that I haven't adequately thanked each of them, and now is the perfect moment to rectify that.
Each of these individuals imparted invaluable lessons that have left an indelible mark on my life:
- Mr. Harris taught me the power of perseverance with his mantra, "Never Give Up."
- Marcy instilled in me the wisdom that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them.
- Mace encouraged me to embrace new challenges by reminding me that lack of prior experience doesn't equate to failure.
- Edie emphasized the importance of over-communicating to ensure clarity and understanding.
- Colleen's belief in the significance of every individual underscored the value of inclusivity.
- Ginger's unwavering support and commitment to being a lifeline in challenging times showcased the essence of true teamwork.
- Bill's question, "How can I serve you better today?" illuminated the path of servant leadership.
Leadership takes on various forms, including self-leadership, and often, great individuals miss out on opportunities to lead due to self-doubt. Guiding people to recognize their unique talents and strengths can be a transformative act. It grants them clarity, enabling them to explore their potential deeply and exercise self-regulation. This process provides an unparalleled level of focus.
For instance, my discovery of CliftonStrengths opened doors to a world where I could leverage my strengths and concentrate less on my weaknesses. Simultaneously, I found myself contemplating how I could collaborate with others, harnessing their strengths alongside mine. It's all part of the intricate journey of leadership development.
As we celebrate Boss's Day, I find myself contemplating the invaluable mentors who believed in me, challenged me, and contributed significantly to my growth. Although each possessed unique qualities, certain common threads made them exceptional mentors:
1. Putting people first - Cultivating relationships and not taking themselves to seriously, but their business, teaching me how to have fun at work.
2. Advocacy - Opening doors, forging connections, and creating opportunities for advancement as my sponsors..
3. Truth tellers - Making enduring investments in my development with honesty.
3. Leading change with hope, trust, stability, and compassion they taught me to see change as part of leadership.
4. Encouragement - Inspiring me, accentuating my strengths, and unwavering belief in my potential, even during moments of self-doubt.
5. Wisdom - Generously sharing insights and experiences to provide perspective and critical thinking as I made decisions that affected others.
6. Effective communication - Asking thoughtful questions, offering feedback, and providing guidance always focused on clarity.
7. Integrity - Leading by example with honesty, ethics, and unwavering principles that role modeled their values to me.
These mentors didn't just teach me job skills; they exemplified how to uplift others, give back, and pay it forward. On this Boss's Day, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all those leaders who take an active interest in nurturing their team's growth. Mentorship has the power to change lives. Who has invested in your journey, and have you taken a moment to express your gratitude to them?
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