Are your colleagues secretly working on their ‘patronus’ charms?
I am lucky enough to work with so many talented professionals, but a few weeks ago something happened that made me reflect on why some truly stand out from the crowd as genuine leaders of their businesses.
Heading off to facilitate a session for one of my clients, I struggled through the rain wheeling my materials and carrying my coffee until I reached the entrance to Bond Street tube station. There I paused to finish my coffee before descending underground.
As I drank my coffee, I watched morning commuters appear at the bottom of the stairs and start to trudge upwards towards Oxford Street.
So many were wearing their Monday morning faces like characters from a dark scene from George Orwell’s 1984. Those in couples or groups seemed to avoid eye contact and few were talking.
However, halfway up the stairs things started to change.
Standing near me at the top of the stairs was a large man with huge dreadlocks and the biggest smile I have seen in a long time handing out the Metro to those emerging into the rain.
Shouting out such a genuine and warm welcome, he seemed to know the names of so many climbing up the stairs… “Morning Dave”, “Hello Sue”, “How are my friends on this lovely morning”.
Looking up, so many faces lit up as they responded… “Morning Steve”.
Almost everyone exiting the station took one of Steve’s Metros.
As I watched them disperse onto Oxford Street it was clear moods had changed. Gone were the long faces as so many were now laughing and talking with their fellow commuters.
I imagine Steve earns not much more than the minimum wage and that the Metro are delighted with the number of copies he distributes at Bond Street station. Yet sadly, I doubt that they realise what Steve is really doing so amazingly well each morning as he ‘kick starts’ the day of so many in such an unbelievably positive way.
He exudes such an aura of infectious positive energy. And it is that, for me, that makes the great leaders stand out from the crowd.
I hope we can all think of such colleagues who project such positivity that we have been inspired to go ‘above and beyond’. They effortlessly excite, motivate and truly engage their teams with their positivity.
Sadly, I also imagine that some of us (perhaps too many of us) can also think of some colleagues who are like an ‘Energy Dementor’ from some dystopian Harry Potter script, sucking the hope and life out of new ideas and the air around them.
So how would your colleagues view you?
What energy do you project as a leader in your business?
Are you a ‘Steve’, or are your colleagues in the process of secretly developing their ‘Patronus Charms’… “Expecto Patronum!”
Andrew Pawley, Partner, Aretai LLP