The Root of Leadership: CEO invites colleagues at every level to talk leadership
By Camille Nicita, President & CEO, Gongos, Inc.
In general terms, a leader takes charge, directs a team or organized group of some type, and has a plan to keep things moving onward and upward.
Traditionally, people associate leadership (at least in the corporate world) with titles such as Chief “anything”, Vice President, Director and so on. On the contrary, here at Gongos, an expectation of leadership exists from the moment a new hire walks through our doors, no matter what title is attached to the role.
Borrowing from The Art of Possibility (Zander), the people of Gongos are encouraged to “lead from any chair.” In fact, we asked our people to take leadership to heart and to help us define what the fertile ground of leadership looks like within our organization.
Dan Koenig, one of our Senior Developers, suggests Gongos is a place where virtue is king – where kindness and respect are the bedrock of influence. Putting the onus, first on ourselves to model the behavior we wish to see in others – in our everyday lives – as well as in creating impact for the company.
Koenig’s words resonate with us all when he says that the instant we are born, we are leaders. Just like a child, we all must take baby steps to get to where we want to be and who we want to become. So, how does one grow to become a leader? Let’s dig a little deeper.
The Basic Essentials
Leadership is about creating followers and as cited by Strengths-Based Leadership (Rath, Conchie), great leaders often possess a balance of trust, compassion, stability and hope.
Our Specialist of Brand Identity & Design, Hallie Dunklin, proposes that trust is felt when it’s inherent in a relationship and built by continually behaving in an honest, reliable way while compassion can be achieved by getting to know the whole person. This is attained by understanding we all have good and bad days, triumphs and struggles. Embracing our equality as humans naturally feeds into a trusting relationship. The layers of trust and compassion build a stable foundation among individuals, and manifest at the aggregate company level by making it easier to adapt to change.
In order to lead, sometimes we need to break free from our own personal barriers. Nick Wright, one of our O2 Integrated Data Analysts believes that when a reasonable idea or question is put forth to a group of people, chances are someone else has had a similar thought. He emphasizes the need to challenge ourselves—be courageous, put ourselves out there, and to follow through on the ideas that stick; execution is just as important as the idea itself.
Plant the Seed…Watch It Grow
At the root of every person are the vital components for leadership. Metaphorically speaking, just as a seed needs fertile ground, sunlight and water to flourish, people need an environment that not only supports them but empowers them to be their personal best. And as a thriving tree has the ability to produce more of its kind, our leaders from any chair have taught us to listen, learn and collaborate with each other. We all have an opportunity to be a contribution every single day by leveraging our strengths, owning our actions, and adding to the collective wisdom and success of our company.
Nick once said: “The moment you were hired, you were given permission to make it a better place.” Quite frankly, I couldn’t have said it better myself!
In other words, create the environment, plant the seed, and watch it grow – before you know it, that fledgling tree will cultivate into a forest.