Failing the leadership challenge when no one is looking

August 18, 2018

This is a short story about the opportunity to be a leader when the world is not watching. It begins with John a small business owner struggling with what direction to take during tough economic times. The choices being stick with the business and try to remake the company once again or walk away after thirty years of struggle and good times. Walking away went against everything that John stood for but he decided to explore the option of entering the job market.


John having had thirty years in the small business was not sure how to go about entering the job market. So with his never ending thirst for knowledge he began to study how to write resumes and how the job market operated. The more he studied the more confused he became about how human resources departments were actually deciding on hiring job applicants. Very little of getting hired into a company had to do with actual experience, knowledge and willingness to learn and be a team player. Armed with these disturbing facts he turned to a piece of information he learned during his studies. This piece of information was this, many jobs are found through networking. 


John had several "friends" reaching all the way back to school days. Terrence worked on management worked in local manufacturer and Standish had a small insurance agency. John decided to reach to these long time acquaintances with his resume.


John contacted Terrence  explaining his circumstances and attaching his resume and asking Terrence if he would bring the resume to the attention of the companies human resources department. He received a response from Terrence stating that since his company had a large number of employees and that John had a small business he did not belong at the company and that he should apply at the smaller companies in the area. John was a very taken aback by the response to his request for assistance and more than just a little confused.


John regroups and decides to reach out to Standish regarding if he can help network and get his resume out to a wider audience. John contacts Standish explaining his situation and includes his resume for Standish to read and to be able to share to any interested parties. Standish never responds to John's request for networking his resume. 


So what is the moral to the story. It is about being a leader when no one is watching. Terrence and Standish both had an opportunity to be servant leaders and step up for a person who was asking for assistance. Everyday individuals are presented with the opportunity to be a servant leader.


Post Script - John several years later received an email asking of the small business was hiring. Remembering his previous experience John responded to the job seeker with empathy and respect. In time the job seeker stopped by to thank John for responding even though he had no job to offer. 


It does not matter if it is a large issue or small be a difference maker decide to lead when no one is watching. 





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