Leadership Guru John Maxwell is known to say “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I recently received a personal lesson on what his words actually mean.
One of the greatest influences in my professional life was a former boss named Roy. Under his tutelage I had expanded my knowledge on Lean and added 6 Sigma thinking to my skill set. I had worked under Roy for about 6 years; however, through a series of events, we hadn’t worked together for over 8 months. Out of the blue, he reached out and asked if I would consider coming back to work for him.
At this point, I was working for a great company, doing meaningful work, making a good salary, earning excellent benefits while commuting relatively close to home. What on Earth would make me want to change?
It took me a couple days of deep reflection before I agreed to interview. After the interview, as I reviewed my “Pros vs Cons” list, I kept going back to this one person. Like a bolt of lighting it became clear to me, besides being a mentor, he was a great leader.
I started thinking deeper on what distinguishes a “Good Leader” from a “Great Leader”. I know I’ve read dozens of books on this very topic, but this is the first time that I had taken the time and deeply reflected on what that means to me. Below is a summary of what I scratched out.
|A Good Leader Will:
||A Great Leader Will:
Ultimately, I ended up taking the new position and I will once again be working for this leader. I know he will continue to make me a better change agent, a better leader, and a better person.
I was always told, “people don’t leave companies they leave people”. I think this is true to a certain extent, but I believe it’s a little too one-sided. I think that the flip side to that coin is “People don’t choose companies they choose people”.
What do you think?