“The days of Command and Control are over. Today’s leaders must Trust and Inspire their employees to be trusted as leaders.”

I was a shy sixteen years old, afraid of my own shadow, the summer I worked as a Nurse’s Aide at our local hospital. The Director of Nursing was a strong loud woman that I found very intimidating. Whenever I saw her coming I would turn and go the other direction, or look for someplace to hide.

One day she stopped beside me, put her arm around my shoulder, and said: “I want you to look at my shoes.”

I immediately thought there must be something wrong with my shoes. They were the wrong kind. They weren’t as white as hers. They weren’t laced up correctly. I was literally “shaking in my shoes,” expecting to be criticized or reprimanded. Instead, her words taught me a valuable lesson in leadership that has served me well in my career.

She said: “When I get up in the morning I put my shoes on the same way you do — one foot at a time. You have no reason to be afraid of me. The only thing that’s different about me and you is that I have a different title. You could be running this hospital one day and I could be working for you.”

At that moment she became a leader I no longer wanted to hide from. She became a leader I wanted to follow.“Wow,” I thought. “There’s nothing wrong with my shoes? She doesn’t think I’m young and stupid? She actually believes that someday I could be a leader as strong, powerful, and successful as she is?”

Since that day, I have never been intimidated by someone’s title, seen myself as less intelligent because of mine, or wanted to limit what my employees are allowed to do based on their title. I don’t see titles. I see individuals who have potential that may be stifled by someone whose authority comes from their title and whose insecurity prevents them from supporting other people’s success. This is not the way I want to lead and this is not the way I want employees who work for me to feel. I agree with Jack Welch who said: “My main job is developing talent.”

Continue reading here: https://ritaburgettmartell.wordpress.com/2020/06/12/how-to-be-a-leader-p...

Author's Bio: 

Rita is a Wife, Mother, Business Owner, Author, Professor of Business Transformation and Innovation, & a Thought Leader to Fortune 500 executives.

>> Email: coachrita365@gmail.com

Rita Burgett-Martell is the author of two books: Change Ready! and Defining Moments.
The practical guidance Rita provides is based on her thirty years of professional experience as an organizational change consultant to Fortune 500 clients and career coach to more than 11,000 individuals, plus her own experience of embracing the unknown to completely reinvent her own life from that of an 18-year-old uneducated housewife in Nashville, Tennessee to an international change strategist and thought leader to C-level and senior executives.