work life
October 14, 2022

The leader next door

My most vivid memory of leadership at work didn’t happen at work.

This must have been 5 or so yeYears back I went hiking with an old boss of mine. We weren’t working together back then but we kept in contact. On our route we found a hiker who had fallen down and could work. There was a small group of people gathered around but nobody was doing anything to help the hiker. Nobody was in control. In seconds my old boss mobilized everybody to get assistance.

Leadership is such an icky word to me. And I use it a lot. I do.

But I can’t help to think it’s such a pretentious word.


Leadership is a necessary skill for a manager. But I appreciate it most in those who it is not expected of.

Leadership is a value meant to serve the community. I admire those determined help those around them even if it is to no gain of their own. I see it on a lot of women around me, who don’t hesitate to step up and get the work down.

So when I speak at work about leadership I try to frame the conversation around values. It still feels icky to use the word “leader”. But I remind myself it’s never about titles or roles, it is about caring for the well-being of others. It’s about altruism.

October 14, 2022 · #work life


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