Let Me Tell You About Charlie

I was recently asked “how do I know if someone is a good leader?” That’s a very interesting question be­cause there are many measures to judge the effectiveness of a
07 Apr 2018 11:00
Let Me Tell You About Charlie
Mark Wager

I was recently asked “how do I know if someone is a good leader?”

That’s a very interesting question be­cause there are many measures to judge the effectiveness of a leader but if you want the simplest measure and many would argue it is also the most reliable, just ask yourself “how does this person make me feel?”

When you are interacting with this per­son forget their position, their job title and even what they said to you and focus on what you feel inside.

Do you feel valued, important, do you feel cared for?

Words are incredibly important but true leaders know that people are more likely to remember how you made them feel rather than what you said to them.

I was then asked to recall an example of a time when what I felt was more important than what was said to me.

I visit Fiji regularly working alongside many good wonderful people but there is one example that comes to mind more than any other and it is about someone who may not be a leader according to his job title but is a leader because of his actions.

Let me tell you about Charlie.

There is a particular organisation that I work with in Fiji where I have delivered about four or five workshops including a leadership workshop, a coaching work­shop, a mental toughness workshop and I have even done an engagement survey for them and with all these visits there’s been one consistent and that consistent is Char­lie.

Every time I have visited this organisa­tion I am shown to a room in order to set up my workshop.

On every occasion while I’m getting ready Charlie walks in and greets me like he is greeting an old friend.

He asks about how I am doing, how my flight was, how my family is and he asks if I need anything.

Now let me be completely honest with you.

I do not know who Charlie is and I cannot tell you what Charlie’s role is.

I do not know what he does and I do not even know if he is any good at what he does but what I do know is how Charlie makes me feel.

Leaders are not just remembered by what they say, they are also remem­bered by how they make people feel

Charlie makes me feel welcomed, he makes me feel valued and this gives me a great impression of the company he works for.

No matter your role, it does not matter whether you are at the top of an organisa­tional structure or if you are near the bot­tom never ever underestimate the impact you can have on the organisation you work for.

Every time you meet or talk to someone they do not just see you, they see you as something more, they see you as a repre­sentative of the organisation you work for.

If you are positive, then that reflects on your organisation alternatively if you are miserable and negative then people believe that your organisation has the same quali­ties.

Every interaction you have and how you conduct yourself within that interaction can result in a real impact on your busi­ness.

Never underestimate the impact you can make on your business

During one visit to Charlie’s organisation I was asked by a manager if I could find time to talk to some of the junior Managers and answer their questions.

My impression of the organisation was so positive that I agreed.

It is logical that if you are more willing to help out someone you like rather than someone you do not.

The same is true with organisations. As a result, I not only went back into the organi­sation the next day, which was my day off but I also spent several hours doing a ques­tion and answer session with the manag­ers, providing solutions to their challenges and sharing my expertise with them.

All of this was for no money but because I wanted to.

There’s no doubt that my interactions with Charlie influenced my opinion of the organisation and this positive impression made me more accommodating to help out in anyway I could.

Even though I do not know what Charlie actually does I do know the role he has ex­ecuted and that role is that of a leader.

A leader is not a role that is given to you in a job description.

You become a leader by asking yourself a simple question and that question is “Do I want to make a difference?”

If you can answer yes to this question then congratulations you are a leader and you have made the conscious decision to lead by example, to do what is right, to treat people with respect and to influence people.

While we tend to glorify leaders, in my experience the truth about what makes a company successful is not its official lead­ers but it’s natural leaders.

To be successful an organisation needs leadership at all levels.

When we think about leadership the im­age that comes to mind is the chief execu­tive officer and the senior leaders sitting around the boardroom table.

While these people play, without doubt, an integral part to the success of the organi­sation, it is in fact the leaders at the low­est levels that are equally or in some cases more important than the leaders at the top.

Leadership is about influencing people and making a positive difference.

You do not need to a have a team report­ing to you in order to lead all you need is at least one person that you want to make a positive impact on, that could be the per­son who sits at the desk next to you.

It could be the next person who calls you or it could be someone like me just visit­ing your organisation for a day, if you want to make that person’s day a little bit better then you are in your own way a leader.

Leadership can be incredibly complex and difficult to master; yet as Charlie dem­onstrates every time I meet him that lead­ership can be very simple as well.

It can be as simple as greeting someone with a smile.

Mark Wager will be visiting Fiji in May.


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