One of the biggest joys of my role as the CEO of Leadercast is being able to host the Leadercast Podcast. I love to hear the stories of diverse leaders from all over the world.
Thanks to our team’s hard work, particularly our Podcast Producer Mo Maturen, the Leadercast podcast surpassed 100,000 downloads. It’s always humbling to know that we can reach so many people with the message that human-centered leadership deeply matters and can improve lives.
There have been several themes as I’ve interviewed over 70 world-class leaders, but one theme – probably the biggest one- is one I wouldn’t have expected.
It’s what I would call a “Drive By” leadership moment.
As these leaders tell the stories that make them who they are, they almost always talk about one conversation – or often even one sentence – that was said to them along the way that changed the course of their career and life. Maybe that’s not so surprising, but what has surprised me is that it’s nearly always someone they barely knew or only knew for a short period of time.
For many of them, they don’t even remember the name of the person. For some, it was a teacher they had for one year, a boss they had for three months, or a client they interacted with for only a few weeks. But they all said something. Specifically, they said something to the future leader about the future leader’s potential.
We talk so much about the truth of how leadership happens in relationships and over time. And that is true…but it also happens in moments, in one-off conversations and sometimes just in one sentence.
It makes me wonder if we couldn’t be more intentional about being “Drive-By” leaders. Taking that extra one or two minutes to tell someone what you see in them. Sure, it can and should be those who work for you, but also those who don’t.
So, would you commit to living this week looking for “Drive-By” opportunities to speak truth into an emerging leader?
If you do they might just be telling that story in 20 years. Even if they never knew your name.