Leadership Shows Up At All Levels
· You don’t have to have a team to be a leader.
· No matter what your role is, you already influence those around you.
· You don’t need a title to be a leader.
· Leadership is not reserved for those with a ‘C’ in their title
· Everyone in your organization has the potential to be a leader.
Dr. Jill Guindon-Nasir is the Senior Corporate Director of Global Learning Solutions and Organizational Development at the Ritz Carlton Leadership Center. One of her primary messages is: A title does not make you a leader; leadership is who you are.
Jill illustrates this with a story from her own leadership experience, recalling how the staff at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, D.C. came together on the day of the 9/11 attacks to go above and beyond for their guests.
On 9/11, I was at the Ritz Carlton Washington, D.C. and our general manager was away at a conference. We had a group with us that was primarily from New York; they were watching the situation unfold on TV and waiting for word from loved ones—- knowing that they were in the buildings. People were literally just falling on the floor in our hotel ballroom. But our housekeepers rallied around them … they took care of them. Some of them even gave them their personal car keys so they could drive up to New York and see their families.
This was such a demonstration of leadership at all levels. And what took place a year later was also amazing, when we had the first anniversary memorial of 9/11. The D.C. area was pretty much empty. There was no one here and no one was holding any events – except our hotel was full, because that group from New York came back; they wanted to make a stand that they were coming back. Not only did they come back, but they requested that the same exact housekeepers take care of them while they were here for their stay.
That, to me, is the definition of ‘leaders at all levels.’ People did not come back for our general manager; it wasn’t about our guidance team. It was the housekeeping team that really took over and truly helped care for these people at their time of need.
It all comes down to the culture your organization creates. Our staff knew they were empowered; they knew they were valued; they engaged as a natural part of who they are.
That’s what I mean when I say leadership becomes who you are, regardless of your role. It is engrained in them – they can’t turn this off. Maybe in part it is a nod to the Ritz Carlton selecting the right people, supporting them, and our leaders modeling our values; the staff knew exactly what to do when the leadership team wasn’t there. They just went into action and this was a normal way of serving others for them. They are treated and they treat others with respect and dignity. That’s what we really believe in.
Leaders are everywhere within your organization. You see it in their daily actions and behaviors, during times of celebration and times of stress. When your teams feel valued, respected and empowered to succeed, they are free to display their leadership at all levels throughout your organization.
What are your employees going to do when you’re not there?
What will you do when, regardless of your rank, knowledge or experience, you are called upon to lead others?