‘Tis the Season to be Thankful!

Posted on November 16th, 2012

By Barbara A.F. Greene

‘Tis the season to be thankful! Who do you have to thank for supporting your development throughout your career? How has your relationship helped to accelerate your career?

Several years ago, a key leader and major business owner invited me to a lunch meeting during Thanksgiving week. He let me know that there would be a few other people that I would meet. The group included executives from small businesses, non-profit organizations and Fortune 100 companies. All were rising stars and current leaders.

During this special lunch, he shared that he had been watching each of us, observing our talents as we shared them with our companies and the community.  His hope for us was that we would continue to develop ourselves by learning from each other. One by one, he told us what he had observed about each of us.  He was specific about our contributions and genuine in his praise.

Many of us did not know each other before this wonderful person brought us together for this memorable meeting.  Despite this, we all had two things in common: the key executive and the fact that none of us had ever done any business with him. You see – he had our best interests in mind as he engaged us in recognizing our excellence. By raising our visibility with each other, he raised our awareness of our own strengths. He was focused on helping others verses helping himself.

As we shared the stories of our career journeys, we laughed and cried. Little did we know that for most of us, this lunch would be a turning point in our lives. You see, at the end of this “business lunch” one of the leaders around the table said, “now what?”  We have shared our stories – what is next for us?  In unison, we said, “we must keep meeting – we must keep growing- we must share with others.” From that day forward – new relationships were formed and we met once a month for many more years. To this day, even after the passing of our special friend, mentor and coach, we support each other, continuing to develop ourselves.

He believed in each of us. Because of this belief, each person developed into a stronger leader who is paying it forward within their companies, the causes they support and with their families. His legacy of recognizing the excellence that accelerated our development lives on through each of us.

In this season of giving thanks, who will you thank for igniting your development as a legacy leader?

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