To celebrate this year’s holiday season of giving, Knightsbridge has started The Gift of Advice Discussion Group. We’ve asked for the best advice on how to be a more effective business leader in the New Year.
With each gift of advice received, Knightsbridge will donate $25 to The United Way, with a goal of donating $20,000.
I thought hard about what I would share and submitted the following:
The best gift you can provide as a leader is the opportunity for someone else to lead.
I learned this lesson when I got my very first part-time job as a teenager. I was sixteen years old and I really wanted a job at a men’s clothing retailer. I had no experience, but lots of optimism. Gary, the manager, struggled. He told me that I was too young because the store focused on an older, more mature clientele. I told him that age had nothing to do with it. That I would succeed in the role. I kept following up and following up. He finally decided to give me a chance.
I knew he was taking a risk on me so I worked extra hard to impress him. In the end, everything worked out fine. I was effective in the role. But what I took away from my experience with Gary was that he was always looking for opportunities to make me grow and learn about the business. That was his gift to me.
Gary’s gift has stayed with me my whole career. And as a leader I’m always looking to share the gift of leadership – giving others on my team the opportunity to lead, to grow and to have greater impact on our business.
So as you enter the holiday season and think about your own leadership role in 2013, think hard about giving the gift of leadership to someone in your organization. Happy holidays!