For my entire career and in every role – business, personal and community – I have tried to lead strictly by example and through close, attentive listening to those around me. When on the job, I solicit input from all team members and leaders alike, never differentiating the voice of the veteran or the new hire – each and every person working on a project together is, by definition, part of that project and, as such, has an important voice when discussing an initiative’s success and any impediments that may arise.
I have found great success in my business career, as a mentor to young people in order to equip them with resiliency and the personal leadership skills to navigate and succeed through life’s inevitable challenges, and as a volunteer in Stephen Ministry focusing on providing one-to-one Christ-centered care to hurting people by listening, encouraging, and offering support when someone is in need.
As a motivational leader, I have found that listening well and spending time crafting a thoughtful response to a question or concern is the very best way I can achieve success day after day. I’ve learned in my own life that those who impact the most people in the best way are not those who are the loudest in the room, the brightest in the room, or the most visible in the room – leaders who have a true impact are those who stay in the room the longest, listening until the room is empty. It is often that those last two cents of advice or suggestions are critical to an initiative’s success.