One bright morning, I walked into one of the big companies in this country to meet one of the top executives of the company. On arrival, I was welcomed by a young, pretty and welldressed front desk officer. The look on her face was like one who had a very bad start of day.
I greeted her warmly and complemented her over her beautiful hair, the greeting seemed to have lifted her spirit and warmed her up into a conversation with me. I told her I had an appointment with the Head of Human Resource, in a short while we were engaged in conversation as if we had
known each other for long. As we chatted, she asked me a question that raised my curiosity. “Do big titles and offi ces give people a licence to be rude and bully other people? I looked at her inquisitively, without responding immediately to her question. She then narrated to me what had happened to her that morning.
She said, “I have worked for this company for five years now but I have never encountered such a boss like my present boss. He never listens and thinks he is always right. This morning, after a week of reflection, I presented to him my ideas on how we could enhance efficiency at the front desk. Without giving me a chance to explain, he retorted that the idea was not feasible. He then went rattling about all my previous mistakes before ordering me out of his office; telling me to think of better ideas. I totally felt deflated and unvalued”.
When you came in I was contemplating resigning my position. I was figuring how to respond to her situation when the phone rang. She picked the phone and informed me that the person I had come to see was ready for me and directed me to the office. I walked away contemplating how I might help her and what kind of company I was visiting. As I walked out of the company, I began to reflect on how big and small companies are desperately in need of leaders who can inspire, energise and empower their people.
Today, there are many leaders and managers who believe that the title makes the leader. We have many people occupying prominent positions in society with impressive titles yet have failed miserably because they haven’t understood what real leadership is about. In his book, The Spirit of Leadership, Myles Munroe puts it clearly: “Leadership is not the result of study or ordination, position or power. True leadership is a product of inspiration, not manipulation.”
The writer is a