You’re sitting in a room filled with 200 people; managers and leaders from all around the world, lined in rows across a conference room floor, listening attentively to the speaker. Some of these people are first-time managers and others are highly experienced leaders.
It’s about 10 minutes into his speech when the man on stage pauses…
He asks the crowd to stand up if they have worked for a bad boss before.
You stand up… likely recalling several managers who, let’s just say, had room for improvement.
As you scan the room, you notice that you aren’t alone. In fact, it appears as though 20-30 people are standing with you.
Turns out, there are actually quite a few people in the room who can recall a bad boss.
After 30 seconds of silence, the speaker asks another question.
He says, “Now I want you to stand up if you have worked for an incredible boss. I mean, a boss that has made significant, positive impact on your life and career. I want you to remain standing if you have had a manager or a leader come into your life and push you to become a better version of yourself. If you’ve worked for that kind of boss, I want you to remain standing.”
It’s right at that moment that you recall someone very special in your life. You’ve had one of those managers. When you think about it, the only reason you’re at this conference is because of one of those managers.
So you stay standing.
And when you pan the room again, you notice something rather odd.
Everyone is now standing alongside you.
It’s hard to tell, but it looks as though not a single person remained in their seat. Every signle person in this room has worked for that type of exceptional leader.
Would you be surprised if I told you that this event never happened?
Unfortunately, I can’t even say that it’s my dream to be the person on that stage witnessing that moment.
The reality is that in most groups, if you asked those two questions, you’d get very different results. Almost everyone could easily identify a bad boss and very few people would describe any of their managers as “incredible”.
So I find it difficult to imagine a time or place where 200 people could all stand together and recognize that they each had a boss, a manager, or a leader, come into their life at some point and make that kind of remarkable impact.
I find it hard to imagine a time or place where it’s easier to remember a great boss than a poor boss.
Now, I’m not trying to be a pessimist, I just know of a couple things that are true in today’s workplaces.
1. There is a lot of change that needs to happen among our leaders today
2. Not everyone wants to change.
And unless a leader makes a commitment to personal development, it just isn’t going to happen.
…It makes me sad to think of all the people who commute into work each day to work for that kind of mediocre boss (let alone the outright terrible bosses).
That said, I’m glad you’re here.
You don’t just stumble across a website like this unless you are a different kind of leader – the kind of leader who strives to take your people to a better place.
So let me tell you about my dream.
It’s my dream that one of your current employees attends that kind of conference 5 or 10 years from now.
And when that question is asked from stage, “Would you please stand up if you have worked for an incredible boss?”
Regardless of what’s going on in the crowd, I want your employee to think about you…
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