After arriving at the office at 8:30 am, I was dragged into a meeting with a very distressed colleague who wanted to speak to me immediately at 8:35. She was the Test Manager, and this was a new role for her, but having been the Test Manager myself previously, I was sure that whatever the issue, we would be able to deal with it.
As we sat down in the room, the Test Manager looked at me and said, “I have a lump in my breast, I think it’s cancer, and I don’t know what to do,” and then burst into tears. After freezing for a couple of seconds, I tried my best to comfort her, indicating everything would be all right.
After reading this story from Gordon Tredgold’s article 7 Things, I Wish I Knew Before I Became a Leader, it touched my inner core. When someone can share such sensitive and personal information with someone, it shows that the leader cares about their team and creates an environment of trust where everyone can be themselves at work.
Great leaders have a genuine interest in others. They have a desire to build a relationship with their team, to know the people working with them personally and professionally while encouraging everyone on their team to be the best they can be.