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  • Writer's pictureShari Rossow

Managers and Leaders

"When someone is talking to you, stop what you are doing and look at them"....

That is what I was told by one of my managers. I remember being embarrassed that I was being called out for my rudeness, but I also felt as though I was letting him down. He didn't wait for my 1 on 1 or for my formal review, he saw the interaction and he said something! It was an important lesson for me. When this happened, he became my leader. Giving feedback in the moment, kindly and constructively, is something I learned that day and have considered a core value ever since.

Thank you, John!

A manager is someone who ensures things are happening and operating as they should be. A leader is someone who inspires action, who creates vision and moves others toward ultimate achievements personal or professional. The term leader is bestowed upon us by others and is the ultimate compliment. This is not a title you should give yourself.

If you manage or lead people, you are likely a topic of conversation at their home with their most precious people. If I am a leader, I am also talking about you at my dinner table! If I am your manager, I am not. If you are responsible for someone professionally, you are a part of their personal life. If you are a leader, they are also a part of yours. It is a tremendous honor to be a leader and should be treated as such.

I have learned a great deal from all my managers and leaders. I have learned what attributes I want to emulate and ones that I do not. I had a manager once tell all of us direct reports that we needed to "just win" so they could attend a trip for a contest. That manager didn't inspire us to "win" so we didn’t. I also recall a time I had a leader say "I know you don't like to do this type of work, but it's what we need from you right now, and I am here to help you". Which one makes you want to be and do your best?

My mother-in-law once told me I had very high expectations of people and that was fine as long as I allowed them to be themselves. She helped me see that I needed to learn more about how others operate and truly see them for who they are! I would learn to create space for people to grow by asking questions, being curious and vulnerable, which would ultimately help them realize their full potential!

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