Our Greatest Leadership Imprint

by Trudy on June 13, 2014

Many years ago I was asked to prepare a point of view and present a perspective on leadership. The point of the presentation was to suggest ways all of us could step up to be better leaders.

As part of my preparation process I interviewed a number of people to determine who their most influential leaders were. You should know that these were all highly accomplished people, people others would consider leaders, who were well into their careers, exposed to many people, opportunities and experiences. I could not wait to hear who helped form them into who they were. I anticipated leaders they met on their career path, thought leaders they got to know from writings, community leaders, the sky was the limit.

What they told me sticks with me to this day. Do you know whom EVERY single person I spoke with had on his or her list? Parents, and specifically their dad.

And do you know what else they told me? They had very few models of leaders that they truly and wholly valued. They spoke of other moments of learning from important individuals, but a person who truly formed their whole being, and showed them that leadership was not individual acts but rather a philosophical way of moving through the world personally and professionally. Someone who taught important lessons, touched people personally and makes the world a better place.

Leadership is truthful, generous, committed ongoing moments that happen consistently and continuously.

With Father’s Day this Sunday, I am feeling nostalgic and remembering my own dad and first leader in life. He taught me about doing the right thing even when it’s hard; having convictions; living with integrity; experiencing laughter and fun wherever you can; and giving everything your best effort. He made a lasting and hugely influential imprint on my leadership style.

This feels like an ideal time for each of us to reflect on our influencing leaders, and those we are influencing to make sure we are stepping up to our best right now.

Happy Father aka Leader Day!

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