Saturday, July 2, 2011

Speed of the Leader, Speed of the Team

Last week something happened at work. When I came on board with this new company, I told the CEO that I was expecting. I explained how important trust was to me, and that we weren't quite ready to announce. When he was asked if I was pregnant during an offsite, he flatly said that he didn't know what the person was talking about.

I have had several very different experiences with other leaders who were not so bound to maintaining trust, but this one is different. I have never heard him speak unkindly to anyone or about anyone. He is a man of integrity who leads with a positive energy and a quiet confidence. I have never experienced him trying to peacock his intelligence, but that isn't because he couldn't. I have never experienced him belittling someone in front of others. His employees don't rush around in fear, they rush around and work hard because they are eager to be their very best. It's so refreshing. It makes you want to be the best you can be.

Employees aren't called on the carpet for being unprofessional. They let their personalities shine and everyone can just be themselves. They can even list how many bottles of propel they drank over the last 3 months in an official company report. They can make mistakes, own them, laugh at them, and move on. I am loving the un-corporate environment. I don't have to change who I am or worry about how I am doing. I just want to be the best I can be.

There is still some left-over corporate rub that I am shedding, but another member of the executive team told me about her work at LinkedIn. It was a similar environment, but required her to let go of the corporate environment to fit in. Sometimes I wake up at night stressed, a leftover from my previous job, and then I laugh that it's okay. I have an amazing husband, an amazing job, an amazing life, and no reason for stress!

Pride begets pride. Humility begets humility. A great leader begets other great leaders that are constantly raising their own personal standards to want to keep up, and they do it quietly and powerfully.

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