What's your favourite story of a positive leader or boss you have worked with?

In our survey "Positive Leadership for the 2020s?" we ask, "What's your favourite story of a positive leader or boss you have worked with?"

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"Clive Memmott, former CEO, Business Link North & Western Lancashire, now CEO of Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce asked what I was doing working late? He went onto say that if I felt it necessary to work late he wanted to know as it meant he wasn't doing his job well!" (Garry Miller's story)

"Tuntiak Katan. A leader of the Amazon Shuar Nation, and a representative of all Amazon indigenous nations through COICA. Started off an angry young revolutionary. Matured over years to become a patient and detail oriented champion of indigenous rights. Drawn from my personal experience while working with him in Ecuador."

"After reading Aristotle's Metaphysics in 1967-68, I read Buckminster Fuller's books in 1969-70 (e. g. Nine Chains to the Moon, 1938). That was my second encounter with the notion that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. It taught me that design was critical compared to just taking a bottom-up brick-by-brick approach. In essence, system properties cannot be determined or explained alone by their subcomponents. Instead, the system's design shapes the parts' behaviour to produce a result that cannot be predicted by the performance of any individual sub-component or group of sub-components. The design is everything. And so the design must be thought through carefully and systematically (I took six years). I used to talk to Marshall McLuhan at St Mike's at the University of Toronto and read his books. He told me that the way he found new ideas was to set aside cause/effect analysis and explore: "I am exploring, not explaining", he would say. He was supportive, giving a nice push and choosing the perfect time to give the supportive feedback, which inspires alot and create a spirit for more productivity and hard working."

"Ron Walker had a vision of staging the opening ceremony on the Yarra as much as in the MCG. The early plan was to bring the athletes down the river on pontoons to the MCG. The media thought this could never work and made ridiculed the idea. Ron said to me 'Deidre, we are going to make this work even if you and I have the stand either side of the Yarra and drag the pontoons ourselves!' In the event our ceremonies team brought the opening ceremony to the banks of the Yarra by bringing the Queen's Baton Relay down the Yarra on 71 floating fish representing the 71 nations and territories of the Commonwealth. Thus Ron's vision of including all of Melbourne in the opening ceremony was realised."

"I really admired Arnold Schwarzenegger for becoming a big action movie star and subsequently the Governor of California. His awesome movies like the terminator, predator, Conan the Barbarian, Total Recall are memorable .. The powerful, humours and witty characters he played on screen and in politics made a lasting positive impressions on so many people."

"One of our call centre staff was living in a boarding house, and was unable to isolate properly after being exposed to COVID. Our Managing Director Phil, who was interstate at the time, immediately offered his home as accommodation."

"John Howard - who remained balanced and resilient despite the pressures of political life. He took the simple step of speaking by phone with his wife and children each day no matter what the pressures."

"John Howard's actions in Port Arthur and Bali bombings"

"Neil Kinnock's 1984 speech at Labour Conference. A statement of pure principle made in the face of bitter opposition to change."

"In the wake of bankruptcy Dr Nickolas Polyzos pulled together the best Healthcare Managers and Economists to formulate the first prospective payment system for Greece, together with electronic tendering for public hospitals in Greece. This led to an overall reduction of general health expenditure together with major improvements in healthcare during his term as General Secretary of the Greek Ministry."

"Once again that would be Jesus Christ as He is alive and living within. Guiding to truth and eternal life as He rose from the grave."

Kashmir Singh said,  "My ex Boss inspired me a lot, Veterinarian Dr. C B. Singh, who successfully ran his canine practice. He is a visionary person who always inspired others to do their best. He provided services to the poultry, dairy, herd and fishery industry along with his vision to computerised these industries and established a software company and did his best."

"Most have trusted, empowered and guided me to stretch myself and achieve more than I thought I could achieve."

"When I think of the bosses or leaders in my life the ones that I've inspired and I have admired the most other ones that take the time for everyone who works for them. Do you know a bit about their lives to show them the same respect as they would have senior in the company."

"One time, an optimistic gentleman invited me to speak at a leadership breakfast event in Brisbane. I was honoured and nervous because of the distinguished leaders present. I spoke to the table my take on growth mindset for leadership. It's was a welcome first step for my own leadership journey. Thank you Victor Perton!"

"I had a MD who would walk around every morning and greet each staff member by name. Made a huge impression on me."

"Surviving a difficult beginning. From a refugee / migrant experience to leadership role in the community."

Treated to lunch because I was working on Christmas day! Reminded to take a day off from work."

"A statutory head who told the government of the day what they needed to hear and not what they wanted to hear."

"By being empathetic, he is loved and followed even after his death."

"To get out of jail after 27 years and forgive the arseholes and move on."

"The fact that life had its challenges with being apart from family to create a better future for himself. He created a new legacy for himself and family."

"Something that deeply inspired me was when I was trusted to make big decisions. I got a lot joy out of work and delivered great results and learnt to trust others as a peer and leader."

"Army officer (who moved into business) showed me how to set strategy, give clear and achievable goals and then had the EQ to support and trust my execution."

"The primary school teacher was fair and kind! She saw potential in others - including me - and challenge authority to assist to maximise the potential of others."

"Worked with a Judge who empowered me to have a voice and express my views."

"One who let us all go home at the end of the day regularly while he stayed on because we had families."

"Boss who started each meeting with a 30 sec genuine caring check in."

"Early on, and dealing with a difficult customer, I was young and had made a decision that wasn't wrong or right. It could have gone either way, but I thought what I was doing was right. My leader backed me, publicly, when the easy thing was to change the decision. It empowered me, gave me confidence and meant that I would do anything for her."

"Someone willing to stand up and say what needs to be said and what is right regardless of personal attack or criticism."

"When my coach has shown me and taught me the importance of the emotional intelligence concepts and practice around me."

"I had a manager who put me in charge while she was away. I wanted to change our faculty name. She didn't. She encouraged me to do it while I was leading."

"Simon and I managed to find time to do activities outside work, which were chances to reflect and grow."


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