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“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you. In between, the leader is a servant.”- Max de Pree (businessman and American writer)
Up until March 2011, I was always someone’s “employee” and experienced leaders of all kinds. I, myself, have been a leader many times throughout my career but my most valuable experience in being a leader took place over the last 9 days.
Nine days ago, I contacted my web designer, Firsh, with my thoughts on what I wanted for the new website. Considering my priority is always on cute, I expected his expert response on whether my proposal was doable and what hoops we would pretty much have to jump through to accomplish the task. Firsh, Matt (my graphic designer) and Sean (my cousin) always allow me to engage in my “cuteness” while they maintain the most important aspects of our projects, reality and functionality. So, much to my surprise, Firsh’s response was….he was ready to go and with that a new website was on its way.
Today, nine days later, we are ready to launch the new site. For me, it was ALOT of work. For Firsh, it was triple that but what a wonderful experience it was. So in going back to the quote at the beginning of this blog…..
“The first responsibility…..is to define reality”
With Firsh and Sean giving me their expert opinion on what was needed for a progressive website, I was able to define and accept that reality.
“The last is to say thank you”
This has always been a staple of my life. Just sincerely saying the words ”Thank you” have taught me to appreciate the small things in life, the kindness and efforts of others and it is the simplest of gestures to let others know just how much you appreciate them.
“In between, the leader is a servant“
This was the surprising lesson of the project. I quickly learned that I, in being the leader, was actually Firsh’s servant. I needed to provide, support and respond to him so that he can fully utilize his expertise. That’s the reason I hired him, right? The outcome was an extremely smooth project, created in, what I consider, record time and it was just fun. There were so many moments in letting him “do his thing” I was left in complete awe. I thoroughly enjoyed being “tied” to my computer for the last 9 days and being Firsh’s “servant”. Today, I have the website that totally satisfies my “cute” desires, reality and functionality.
With leadership comes many responsibilities, some we want and some we don’t, but what really counts is the spirit of those who support us. I can hire anyone to be my web designer but only Firsh will have Firsh’s spirit. When we, as leaders, recognize such spirits, it becomes our job to support, connect, encourage, treasure and appreciate their spirits because……they will determine our future!!!
My Dear Firsh, this website is dedicated to YOU!!! It was my absolute pleasure being your leader and servant all at the same time. Thank you for all that you do!! Thank you for being YOU!!!