Author: Donna-Marie Rowe
I gazed through the window of my restroom at work not sure what I was looking for. It was one of my two-minute moments when I paused to think and change the scenery. Half-Way-Tree Road was busy as usual when my eyes caught a young man walking along the sidewalk. He approached a woman at the bus stop who waved him away gently while shaking her head. He seemed either lost or broke or come to think of it, both.
I was curious so, I followed him from the safety of my restroom window, as he tried to navigate the four lanes of traffic to cross the street. He made an attempt to get the attention of a police car at the traffic light but he was unsuccessful. He skipped across the first lane and then the other. He seemed anxious.
I wondered what was wrong. What did he need? Where was he from? Would someone help him? He tried to get the attention of other motorists but no one stopped on the busy thoroughfare and then he was out of sight. I prayed for him.
What do leaders observe daily? Do we take the time to watch our teams as they arrive for work? Do we notice their demeanor, body language or anything different about them? Do they look puzzled, confused, down or lost? Do we lend a helping hand or a listening ear or are we way too busy, consumed by our own affairs and can’t stand long enough to discern who needs our help?
Leadership is about empowering others. “The greatest quality of leadership is not to inspire. Not to put in…but to pull out of those who you are leading…goodness and nobility in them which at times they may not yet know they possess. When this happens it becomes a revelation to them and they obtain their highest,” said the Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves, as he addressed an intimate gathering of participants in the impactful Caribbean Leadership Development Programme.
Do you think observing is wasting time and that the busyness of our days cannot stop its swirl long enough to care, connect and empathise? Let us pull out of our teams that which they never knew they had in them. We can only do this by observing their strengths, building them up and pointing to their potential.
For those who are ‘broke’ in spirit, speak a kind word and smile. Where possible, point them to the source of your joy. If they are lost, show the way and provide the guidance.
As the authors of A Leader’s Legacy, James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner noted, “We have to stop, look and listen. We have to stop doing for some amount of time each day. Then we have to start noticing more of what’s going on around us now and not forget to look at the future.”
Come with me and let’s ask how we can be of help.
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