Posts Tagged ‘#leadership’

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Back in 2012, I applied for the retail job that I had until a few months ago. I remember going for the second interview. I was being interviewed by the store “Leader”. That’s what they called the Store Manager. Not only was it a Woman, but an openly gay woman.

My young bohemian mind was doing back flips. THIS was going to be my boss. My leader.

I did get the job and as you all know I worked there for three years. But, this was my first paid job. I had internships and free labor experience prior to this… activists, editing and literary magazines type of stuff. But, this was my first real job and introduction to the corporate world.

I couldn’t have asked for a better Leader. She inspired and motivated. Her office door was always open. She had true honest and caring leadership skills.

I aspired to gain her traits and professionalism.

She was a person that I dearly looked up too and will always be a role model for me.

Unfortunately , recently, a member of our retail store passed away. While I no longer work there, I was still deeply affected by this loss.

I went to the funeral alone. I arrived early, a little before the wake was timed to start. My old store leader was there. In tears and distraught. She sat alone, not many people where there yet.

And I was like a deer in headlights.

To see my idol, my leader deeply distressed. I didn’t know what to do but cry as well.

I was struggling with my grief but at the same time I was struggling with the shock of one of my few idols …being a regular human being.

I built this person up in my head to be something grand, something bigger than life. It was shock for me to realize that these people, these leaders and role models, are simply people as well. Just like you and me.

Yet, my old store leader, when she saw me. She found strength from I don’t know where. She got up from her seat and approached me and hugged me and was offering me comforting words.

As buses and buses of employees from our store arrived. She huged every single person. She comforted every single person, family of the deceased and all employees, vendors, associates of the retail store that came our to pay their respects. There was a line out the door, out the funeral home and halfway up the block. I left close to the end, but i knew she would be the last to leave with the family.

When I left the funeral, my heart was heavy with grief. But, it was also inspired to one day be a leader. To be like my old store manager. To be human,an everyday regular person. Yet, still have compassion and a fire for the pursuit of whatever it is you have passion for. To always have a reassuring and kind word and warm hug to give to a fellow human being.

One usually believes to be a great leader, you must have great leadership skills. But, that doesn’t sit right with me. I feel to be a great leader, you must have great compassion and understanding. To be a great leader you have to be the helping hand. You don’t have to lead the pack. You inspire and motivate. But you don’t actually lead a person down the fork in the road. You help people build up the courage to go forth on their own journey and go down the path of their choice.

Feel free to join in just jot it Jan anytime.
Just Jot It January 15th – Leadership

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