Pay It Forward - The Unstoppable Series
The Unstoppable Series is a reminder that good leadership requires leaders to be role models who insist on integrity and accountability from everyone.
I was in IKEA 6months ago, when a familiar face came up to me, with the biggest smile on his face, he hugged me warmly and introduced me to his family. George, was a tester on a project of mine 15 years ago. We had a formal relationship at the time and whilst we had a solid relationship, we were not particularly close. “Hey Sue, so good to see you after all this time, meet my wife, Sally. “. “Sally, this is Susan, an old manager of mine. Susan is great, she was always there for me and coached me through stressful and difficult times. I can safely say, no manager has ever matched up to Susan!. " “Susan, it is so good to see you again, I just want to say Thank you for being you”. Wow, I have never felt such a burst of happiness and pride, so unexpected, so welcomed, it made me feel good all week.
To be honest, building up other people is the best part of my job. There is nothing I like better than spotting the superstar in someone else, especially, if they haven’t spotted it themselves yet. I believe that my no.1. role as a leader is to pull other people up, elevate them, make them leaders too. Over the years, I have spotted many, hidden superstars, I have coached them, so they can see outside their current role and to imagine a bigger, brighter future. All I provide is the opportunity and I bolster their confidence, the rest they do themselves. I share that I 100% believe that they are a superstar. I insist and demand that they never sell themselves short. Most of these relationships have endured over the years. It is also important to realise that these relationships are not one way, I gain personally from them and they frequently morph into friendships that I cherish and adore and I always watch with pride in having played a small, positive role in someone else’s journey.
So what do I look for when taking someone under my wing? Attitude is everything, hard working, can do, willingness to learn, drive, decency, honest, team player. Skills can be taught, attitude is something you cannot give someone else, it is an active choice they must make themselves.
I share this insight because imagine what we could achieve as a team if we all made a commitment to help someone else and expected nothing in return. Everyone has a skill or an experience worth sharing. Everyone has a gap or a need that can be filled.
Imagine how quickly we could grow as a team if everyone made that commitment today to another person. So this is my challenge to you, make a commitment to someone else. Remember life is not about ‘me’, it is about ‘we’.
Gandhi said it best, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.
I say “Pay it forward”