The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority by Cynthia Valerian Raphael

I was transferred to a new branch, and I noticed something. I am a very playful human being by nature, that is the first thing people do notice about me when they come around me. I turn a sad situation into a joke and people fuming in anger will lighten up. It's not boasting, it's just my nature,Sorry it's just me.  So back to my story now, I noticed something terrible amongst the staff and even the gate man too, to the extent that the security man even fidgets at the sound of my feet. I started monitoring what was going on. First the marketers at the sound of my feet disappears into thin air, even some before I get into the office, they are all out, so I made a sound warning that every one should never leave the office until I have arrived, and that every morning that we all must pray together and have a brief meeting before everyone goes out for their daily activities. 

When I said that the first time, everyone raised an eyebrow. Before this instructions I gave them, I noticed something where the gate man is, whenever I drive to the car park, he always rushes to wait at my door, once I switch off the engine, he opens it and once I step out, he asked to carry my handbag and any books I came with, and I will be like not to worry sir, I can handle it, the first time he insisted, and I allowed it, the second time I refused and carried my hand bag to my office. Strange murmuring everywhere, I started getting worried myself. The first time I had meeting with them,we prayed and when discussing started everywhere was silent, they left me to do the talking, after I finished blabbing, I asked them any suggestions, all chorused no, I was dazed. I said to my mind well with time you guys will loosen up and we all will flow. Whenever the marketers come back at the end of the day, they will all summit their books and disappear, some will go sit at the car park and some will be panicking because they never made any success that particular day. 

 The third day, the gate man rushed to open the door for me and I waved my hands like telling him to shift away,when I opened the door, I told him "daddy please don't do this again, I beg of you, I can handle myself and every other thing I came to work with" he said please madam , am just doing my job, and I told him, how is carrying my handbag your job, who told you that? He said, Na so I dey do for the madam wey dey comot here before you come my dear. I said to him, please from today, rules have changed, you will not carry bags anymore, just mind the company gate and make sure you take care of your health, he laughed! He left, smiling. From what the gate man told me, I now had a clue of how the past person handled them and the rest. I said to myself Cynthia this is a big work,and I will do it by his grace. 

 I started with the marketers, early in the morning meeting with them, I will ask them to conduct let me listen, that became strange, nobody could talk, when I ask them the challenges they are facing, they are like madam, we can handle it, I said you can handle it, fear of talking gripped them and I had to like OK, let everyone get to work . The next day, I came to work and after the early morning meeting, I asked two of them to remain at the office, others should go out. When the others left, I asked the two, a guy and a lady to come into my office, when we settled, I asked them to tell me what was happening at the office when I haven't resumed work with them, they were all silent, nobody could utter a word. The first question that came out from my mouth to the guy was, how many ladies do you have on your disc plate, he laughed and said madam am still a beginner , I don't have time for women, I said to him, oh I see, if all the men keep saying these, then all these baby mama's would not be increasing, even the lady was laughing as well. I requested for their marketing jotter, they gave me and we started talking about it. The first thing he said to me was, thank you for allowing me sit down in your office, I pretended I never heard that honestly. We started talking and I had to understand that the former madam was what I can't comprehend. She made them understand that marketers are slaves(I used that word because I can't find a better one) and should not be given an opportunity of a smile. 

 To cut my long episode short, we started having everyday communication, we started sharing ideas, I started reading their moods to know when  they have personal problems. I am good at that because marketers are human beings, they all having feelings and mood swings too, so where I can enjoy in their happiness, I will also enjoy in their sorrows. I love humanity and I love people, anybody around me must feel at home. Marketers are human beings, they are not slaves, not because you have powers over them doesn't make you Lord over them. Some of them are in that job because they are helpless and just want to loved by anybody around them, some of them are just alone in this world looking for love around them, lift their spirit with encouraging words  and watch them deliver even more than you expected. 

I was once a marketers and I have been there before them, there are tough clients that you must try every means to convince, still yet it looks to them, that their best is not enough, you as a leader should help them out by asking them the length they have gone with the person, to know where to step in. I do that and it doesn't make me less of a person.

Even our gateman, an old man enough to be my father, who has no other way to feed his family than to sit by the gate and deliver his job effectively, not carrying a woman's bag. He said to me one morning when I came so early to work, I went upstairs but the cleaner was still cleaning, so I went down stairs, he saw me and brought a sit for me to sit down, I had to like, what for? He said because I know you will need it, I told him not to bother that I need to walk around the compound, I told him to show me around. As we were walking around, he said, madam don't feel offended with my conversations with you,madam honestly Allah answered my prayers and brought me a daughter instead of a boss, he said, who is this man that married an angel like you, I was like baba, he is doing fine and there are plenty angels all over the world. I said to him, people are different and he shouldn't see the past madam as a bad person, that he should take her as she is, and he shouldn't see all those he did for her as humiliation to his person, baba smiled. 

Honestly to my surprise, I came to work one day and greeted him, as I turned to walk to the office, he said madam, the smiling face I see every morning has dimmed this morning, that means the whole office will loose it's taste, he said one thing that has kept me moving for long now, he said to me  " you have brought smiles to alot of heavy hearts,Nothing shakes the smiling heart, my daughter I know is a strong person" That was the first time of him touching my hands and I thanked him and left. By 12pm, he came asking the office administrative lady , that he wants to see me, when he came in, he stood and said he came for something briefly and he will be going back immediately, I asked him to sit down and he sat down and asked if I have eaten anything since morning, I said no sir, that work is still on my desk, he said he bought food for himself but he wants to know if I have eaten before he eats, I told him to go eat, that i will send for food immediately. He is a humble yoruba man. 

Not even only the gate man, any day I come in looking pale, the marketers will be restless because they will do everything to have madam back on track. Every birthday must be celebrated in my office because everyone is special. 

 Let me not talk about my marketers because some are in here, they should know better, playful set of human beings, do I even blame them when they have " I go die the comedian" as a leader, so what do you expect?

  What do I want to teach with my story, for the bosses, let me tell you guys, 

Many people are smarter than their stupid bosses. Sorry am harsh but it's true! 

Every boss started as a worker, so come down from cloud 9,

Be the leader, not the boss,

Be a leader with a ladder, not a boss with an order.

A boss says “go and make sure you do it”; a leader says “let’s go and make it happen”. 

Bosses control people; leaders involve them.

If you're a boss, and not a leader, your time is limited.

Authority confined in you does not make you a leader. It is the authority created by you that makes you influence people with your purpose.

If you define yourself by the title of coach or boss, you’ll never earn real trust from your players or employees.

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others. The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority. 

The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly. 

Lastly please let's Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. 

Leadership is solving problems. The day people working under you stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. They have either lost confidence that you can help or concluded you do not care. Either case is a failure of leaderships.


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