A small boy walked along the sidewalk clutching his backpack to his chest. He was on his way home from school. As he walked into his house, he quickly went to his room and closed the door. He unzipped his backpack and carefully removed a newspaper-wrapped object. The object was rather heavy and about the size of a softball. He set the still wrapped object on his dresser, then went outside to play. That evening, after dinner, his father was sitting in the recliner, reading the newspaper. The young boy quietly walked up to his dad and presented the newspaper wrapped object. The dad set down his newspaper and carefully unwrapped the gift. Inside was a clay bowl that the boy had made in school. “It’s for your keys, dad”, the boy said proudly to his father. The father hugged his boy and thanked him. Beginning the very next day, the dad put his keys in that little bowl every day when he got home from work.
Years later as the little boy grew into a man, he too received a newspaper-wrapped gift from his child. This little clay bowl was painted pink, his daughter’s favorite color. Remembering how his father had responded upon receiving that same gift, he quickly hugged his little girl and thanked her. Beginning the very next day, he put his keys in that little pink bowl every day when he got home from work.
This kind of leadership –being a quiet example — is seen every day in home life and in the business life. Managers who appreciate small gestures of kindness set examples to supervisors to appreciate gestures. And supervisors set examples to team captains, and the team captains set examples for the employee.
Gestures and responses are noticed and imitated. What are your employees noticing from you?
Something to think about.