I have learnt what great leadership is through the real life example of a fantastic project lead I have had.
Her leadership style was goddess type. Knowledgeable about all work streams and each of the small content/process details, she led the team very smoothly into splendid operations. Whenever our team had an inquiry, she would respond, and always in a prompt manner. Her replies would be well-thought and magnificently crafted. She would even consider eventualities, and act as a shield that protected us from potential mistakes. The final team result under her leadership would be as a wonder from nature, made to admire.
Her feedback sharing was very generous. The conversation would be as clear as a reflection in transparent waters, and one could talk to her without having to beg for it, despite her busy schedule. This has been as such, long before any instant performance feedback had officially been installed. She not only provided me with her feedback, but also shared praises from the client. I tell her I am always happy to hear from her.
In spite of her great leadership, she is surprisingly humble. I pray to her and thank her for all the help I received, but she never really takes or accepts my gratitude. She is so kind as to present the achievements back into my hands and thank me for my contributions.
While each individual of our team worked diligently, she added the essential ingredient to pull all of us together. She cared about each of one of us in a very selfless manner. Never have I heard of anything that she might have received in return. Given her high position in the company, she might not even be getting the necessary credit in front of our community leaders.
I am not sure when my next chance to work with her will be, but this experience has been extremely enriching and inspiring for me. I learnt a lot through and thanks to her. I now pay more attention to detail, especially on small fonts and numbers that make their way to a slide; those that are even easily neglected by many a manager. I made a habit of asking questions that go beyond my scope or responsibility because I knew she would care about them. I learnt to check for quality in the work of my peers where I had previously trusted them, and above all I learnt and saw through her the qualities that a great leader should have.
I wish for me to become as great a leader as her in the future. Paying forward has already proven me to be very rewarding in terms of team results and positive peer feedback. If we all learn from this wonderful project lead, we could bring more projects to success and build happier and more cohesive teams. What else could be more valuable than being knowledgeable, generous, humble, selfless and inspiring at the same time?