“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” ~Seneca
The best leader I ever had the pleasure of working for was never stressed. He always smiled, greeted you warmly, asked about your kids and actually remembered their ages and names. He knew every member of his staff.
Every single employee wanted to make Jim proud.
“Nice, but who has time?” you ask. I know! I asked the same thing. Jim McLaughlin had mastered several key skills I only unraveled years later.
- Perspective – Jim knew who he was, what mattered to him, what his purpose was, that he worked to live (not the other way around) and that people who worked beneath him would follow his example both at work and in life.
- Forward-Thinking – Jim knew he could not do the work of the company. He was there to support his team and remove obstacles so they could do their best work … which made him look brilliant. Jim wasn’t interested in pointing out blame for the past. He created a smooth path to success, removing red tape and other obstacles in our way, before we were even aware of them. Jim looked toward the future, read industry publications, kept in touch with knowledgeable people, and ensured that we had the talent and the resources to be as cutting edge and relevant in the future as we were today. In return, we trusted Jim and did our work without question, knowing there would always be meaningful work for us in the future.
- Honest Communication – There were no hideous rumour mills under Jim’s watch. He talked privately to problem people. He shared openly what needed to be shared. His door truly WAS open and as you entered, he put his work away and gave you his undivided attention. His goal was to empower you to make good decisions. You walked away feeling competent and responsible. Jim built strong people through healthy, honest, purposeful communication.
- Competence – when chaos or crisis reared its’ ugly head, it was quickly handled BEFORE the rumour mill caught hold of it. Jim always connected with the right people in the right way and made the right decisions for the right reasons. He gave the problem employees enough rope to hang themselves with, and expose their own underhanded activities (they would be caught in their own web of deceit). Jim was a masterful leader in every sense of the word.
Who was the best leader you ever worked under? What made him/her so great?
Starting September 8th, 2014 – Transform Your Leadership – For busy “no fluff” leaders who don’t have time to stop and take a course, or do hours of reading. Here are the details: www.transformyourleadership.com