One of my first jobs after college was as a bank teller. On one normal weekday, a day I’ll never forget, a gentleman walked up to my window after waiting in line and asked how I was. We got to talking, and the conversation became focused on how I felt about the company and my role as a bank teller. He seemed genuinely interested in my responses, and shared a joke with me- just a normal, easy conversation. After a few minutes my manager ran over to introduce us to each other- all that time, I had been speaking to the chairman! I found out later that this was something he did all the time, welcoming new hires into his family’s business.
Twenty-five years later, his example still affects the way I work myself, and how I see leadership development in general. Having partners and clients that share that vision and do so in a creative and visionary way is a privilege. Being able to do this work in an atmosphere that brings together hard work, mutual respect, and good humor is a must.
As Edwin Markham said, “He drew a circle that shut me out- heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win: We drew a circle and took him in!”