She was considered one the greatest leaders in business. She received praises for all of the work she did in helping to build the people personally and professionally in the company and how she set standards that were perfectly communicated. Her ability to set expectations, inspect what she expected, and hold people accountable was never heavy-handed with many in the company sharing how much they respected her, trusted her, and would remain loyal to the organization because of her.
Over time her reputation grew and people from all over the world were looking to be a part of her company. And the more talented and committed people joined the organization, they in turn attracted others who would join as well. The company grew, expanding into many new regions around the globe.
With a leadership style that encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit while recognizing and rewarding personal contributions and performance, her following continued to grow larger and faster than anyone in the company expected. It was awesome as each department and team knew they had her total support, they invited her into their meetings, and one of the things the people loved most about her was that she gave everyone the freedom and autonomy to make daily decisions, trusting they would do what was best for the team, the company, and the community.
If people did make mistakes, she always offered grace and forgiveness, explaining how to fix the situation or move forward on the best path possible and forgetting the sins of the past. As a leader, her ability to give people second, third, fourth and fifth chances became legendary.
As the company grew, meeting with tremendous success, the competition started working hard to take away their market share. They went after her employees and customers and did so in a very underhanded way. They offered promises they could not deliver, and yet some employees and customers started falling for the empty promises.
As others started following those exiting, they believed the grass was greener on the other side and couldn’t resist the temptation leaving as well. As a leader she remained unfazed, although she was heartbroken each time someone left, she maintained her integrity and stood firmly on the principles she established. She showed each person in her care just how much she loved them. Additionally, when someone did leave, she would do everything she could do to bring them back to the company. Although heartbroken if they did not return, she let them know that the door would be open when they are ready to return.
Things began to deteriorate each day. People started to take her love and kindness as a sign of weakness or not needed. They began rebelling against the standards and values that she had established. Teams even stopped inviting her into meetings and decisions. They also stopped communicating with her, ignoring her emails, and never listening to voicemail messages. Certain managers did whatever they could to keep her words of hope and encouragement out of their communications. Although she never stopped being the most loving and awesome leader that ever lived, eventually the company went under because too many people abandoned her, feeling like they could do anything on their own.
As we look around at our world and ask ourselves why hostility exists, why so much division, why fear has replaced hope, and why we are so broken, it’s because we have kicked God out of our families, schools, communities and businesses. Yet we wonder why the tragedies are happening while still asking, “Where is God in all of this?” God is right where we left him, and He is waiting for us to come back to Him. And I believe that when we do, we will start to live without fear, replace anger with compassion, have less division and more unity, and find a way to love and respect one another. I would love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can answer the question who we trust with, “In God we trust,” it really will be a better than good life.
Michael Norton is the grateful president of XINNIX, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager and motivator to businesses of all sizes.