Monday, June 6, 2011

The Crowning Leadership Quality

Regardless of the type of company or organization we’re building, effective leadership is an absolute must. And there is a crowning leadership quality that sets the best leaders apart from the rest. I was reminded of that this weekend as I ran into an old friend and mentor.

I’ve served in the same operational position of two different geographic chapters of a large service organization. My first experience was under the direction of the gentleman I referred to above--a dynamic leader with a clear view of our objectives and superior results in achieving our prescribed goals. When I say “dynamic” you probably picture a high-energy person who pumps everyone up and gets the adrenaline flowing. Actually, that’s not the case at all.

This man is a relatively quiet, reserved individual who actually says very little. So why would I call him a dynamic leader? What makes him so effective? I’ve always known the answer to this, but it was reconfirming to hear him validate my beliefs during our brief conversation.

When I approached and greeted him, I could see in his expression that he recognized my face, but could not quite place me. We haven’t seen each other for over six years. I reminded him of our association. The light bulb instantly went on, and his already pleasant smile grew into the warm, friendly one I had seen so many times before.

He instantly asked about my family and how life was treating me. He shared a memory of our working together. I told him my experience under his mentorship had served me well, and that I hadn’t seen the kind of results in my subsequent involvement with the other division of this group, due to its bureaucratic nature, that I had seen under his direction. He smiled, and, looking me straight in the eye, said three simple words that sum up the quality I had always respected in him that I knew was his secret to success: “I love people.” The sincerity in his eyes spoke volumes and took me back to so many situations under his mentorship in which I learned to see people first and put processes and policies in their place as secondary support systems to help others achieve their goals and dreams. He taught me that the path to a winning public image and meaningful social standing isn’t the pursuit of such status as politically crafted destinations, but rather natural outcomes to focusing on helping others achieve their aspirations and always seeing the good in them and what they have to offer.

I walked away from this recent encounter walking on air, as I had dozens of times during the years of our prior association. As I recollected the energy with which our team worked together to serve, envisioning the countless hours of collaboration, planning, and execution of many activities and efforts directed at improving the lives and situations of our organization’s members, it was once again confirmed to me that among all the attributes and skills necessary for effective leadership, the crowning quality of truly effective leaders is a genuine love for those they lead. I appreciate the recharge I received from this chance meeting with this most extraordinary mentor and leader and hope you’ll find similar value in this message.

Here’s to your leadership success!

Bryan Waldon Pope

You can become a leader in your own local business networking organization with a no-cost membership to The Abundance Group. This is real business networking for real business people who understand the power of serving others' needs first. Get all the details at


  1. Having served in several positions in several different geographical chapters of that same organization, I can tell you that my chief and perhaps only real skill is that I actually love the people I work with and serve. Well, at least most of the time. Whatever effectiveness I've achieved in any position I've had has been mainly due to that.

    Well put, sir!

  2. Bryan,

    Thank you so much for sharing such an excellent example of leadership. Working with the right people, those who care about others, does make all the difference. It's always a pleasure to work with you and the high caliber of people you attract.

    Thanks for all you do,

    Wayne Goodworth