“It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.” – Bill Gates
One of the best life lessons I ever learned was from a really bad boss, isn’t that true for a lot of us? We learn a great deal from remarkable leaders but we often, if we open our eyes, learn incredible lessons from the worst leaders and managers as well. Our experiences teach us so much, the good and the bad.
Early in my career, my boss (the really bad one) was approached by upper leadership about my talent and a great opportunity for my future. Instead of supporting me, my boss called me into his office and instilled in me the only importance of my work: to make him a profitable and successful business. He was not focused on my growth and greatness but merely chased selfish ambition. A few days later, having learned that he had intentionally kept me from getting promoted, I left that job, that company and most importantly that bad boss.My job as a leader is to help other people get the jobs of their dreams. Click To Tweet
Today, this is one of the greatest lessons I have chosen to hold onto: my job as a leader is to help other people get the jobs of their dreams. I committed myself to that belief after working for a bad boss almost 30 years ago, and I strive to live that out every day since. I am proud to have had the opportunity to work with former team members who are now running their own organizations. I am proud that I might have had something to do with their success. From my own bad experience, I chose never to be the person who limits somebody’s career opportunities, period. Life is much bigger than pigeon-holing someone to your organization or company.
Outside of a classroom, very few lessons come labeled. As great leaders, it is our responsibility to be open enough to recognize when a lesson has or is occurring and then decide how it’s going to impact our lives going forward. True enlightenment often comes as a result of negative experiences.
The lesson I learned from a really bad boss: it is not about me.
Question: What life lessons have shaped the leader you are today? Who could you impact by sharing those lessons?