Rewind back to 2003 when I was working super long hours on the BANK ONE/JP Morgan merger.
We were wrapping up final pension plan pricing scenarios when one day, out of the blue, the Client Relationship Manager for one of my main clients – BANK ONE – asked if I wanted to go with him to present the results.
“Who’s going to be at the meeting?” I asked.
“Oh ya know, just Jamie Dimon and the rest of the BANK ONE senior leadership.”
I remember being shocked, and mostly nervous.
I thought to myself Hmmm maybe I can help you find somebody else to go with and I can stay back and hold down the fort in case you need any real-time number crunching done during the meeting. How’s that?
At the time I wasn’t quite sure why he didn’t choose someone else from the team who was way more experienced.
But now I understand why.
Because he was an excellent leader and prioritized making long-term investments in his team.
He had a keen eye for spotting team members’ strengths, and put them in positions to cultivate their strong suits.
And he didn’t just bring me to be notetaker, he gave me a speaking part. Yes my stomach was in about 1000 knots, in case you’re wondering.
Did he take a risk? Bringing a 20-something spunky female into the Old Boys’ Club?
But super strong, confident, authentic leaders like my boss are comfortable being audacious because they know who they are, and they’re fiercely committed to developing their staff.
Strong leaders not only understand, but demonstrate that in order for others to learn and grow, they need to be put into uncomfortable situations that stretch them in new ways.
The meeting went well, and I was relieved to have my first big meeting in the books.
BANK ONE headquarters was just a few block stroll from our office in the Chicago loop. And on the way back, my boss gave me some super candid feedback. Some things I did well, and he offered some ideas for improvement.
Now that I was on the other side of the experience, fear quickly turned into appreciation.
I am beyond grateful that so many leaders invested in me throughout my career.
But now as a leader yourself, it’s your turn to do the same.
- In what ways are you investing in your people?
- Are you delivering candid feedback?
- Are your people in the right roles?
- How are you ensuring that your employees are growing every day?
- Are you able to spot your employees’ areas of genius, and placing them in situations that highlight their strengths?
This is only one of many first-hand experiences working with world-class leaders over the years, and now I get to incorporate qualities of great leaders into my coaching every day.
Do you want to be my next client? I’d looooove to work with you. Grab a time here and we’ll get started now.