[June 20, 2019] It is often said that the greatest leaders in the world are the ones that want you to succeed. That is true, of course. But it is also true that any leader who is jealous of or fears your success is one that can never be trusted.
“The greatest gift of leadership is a boss who wants you to be successful.” – Jon Taffer, an American entrepreneur
Years ago, my good friend Wilson, was working at an Old Navy clothing store while he worked his way through his teenage years. “Just to earn a few bucks,” he would tell me about his job. He liked retail and prided himself on extraordinary customer care. There were no tips or commission in those days; just minimum wage. He was proud of his ability, and so was the store owner.
After working in the store during the summer, Wilson was fired by the store manager. He was told that he was wasting too much time talking to customers and not enough time selling. Later, he would tell me about how shocked he was, at the time, and disappointed in himself for doing something “wrong.”
His mom contacted the owner to find out what happened. The owner, a woman named Betty M., was surprised to hear that Wilson no longer worked there and was told by the manager that Wilson had quit. Betty said that she had planned to hire Wilson fulltime with a raise. It turns out that the manager was afraid she would lose her job to someone like Wilson and had fired a few other employees who were doing well.
Wilson was fortunate that everything turned out for the best. He learned from the experience and later worked in several high-profile clothing stores like Barneys New York and Nieman Marcus. Those like Wilson with great heart are hard to find and are valuable. Great leaders recognize them quickly and take steps to ensure those employees are successful.
Wilson was following his dream. He had the vision to find it, the courage to work at it, and the resolve to follow it. It should come as no surprise that he now owns his own clothier business and a line of clothes with his name. His success is our success.