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A mentor, a chance & daily leadership

Sometimes you meet someone who’s willing to give you a chance. A mentor. An ally. I’m lucky to have had many of those in my career so far. Recently I came across a TED talk by one of them: Tom Cummings, former head of Learning and Development in Unilever and ABN AMRO and author of “Leadership Landscapes.”

It reminded me of the lessons he taught me. And moreover, how inexperienced and clueless I must have looked in his eyes when he said ‘yes’ to me becoming part of the leadership faculty back in 2008. Yesterday I wrote him a little message just to say thank you for what he did many years ago.

In one of my favorite TED Talks, Drew Dudley, leadership expert at Toronto University, calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act to improving each other’s lives. “It can be frightening to think that we can matter that much to other people, because as long as we make leadership something bigger than us, as long as we keep leadership something beyond us, as long as we make it about changing the world, we give ourselves an excuse not to expect it every day from ourselves and from each other.”

Who helped you when you were not likely to get a chance? What did that person do or say when you needed it most? How would he or she react when you would acknowledge them for it? And… next time someone asks you for a chance, what would you do?


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