Leadership – See the Best

Boy reading a bookOne of the aspects of Appreciative Intelligence® is “appreciating the positive”. This relates to the way we deal with other people as well. People with highly developed Appreciative Intelligence® bring out the best in other people – mainly because that’s exactly what they see in them!

And it’s not rocket science.  Probably all of us can remember at least one person – a parent, a teacher or a mentor – who encouraged us to be the best we could be.  Someone who not only saw the positive and the potential in us, but told us about it and supported us to live up to it as well.

Reading books at Collingwood Technical School in the 1960’s was not a favourite activity of most students at the time. But I was different. I loved reading books and I remember one teacher, whose name I think was Mr George Lees, who encouraged and inspired me to read over 50 books in one year.

As soon as I finished one book I couldn’t wait to come to school and tell him I had finished it. And then I’d start the next book Mr Lees suggested I read. He had a calm demeanor which was unusual for some teachers at the time! Many of them relied on yelling and the strap to keep over 400 boys in the school under control.

But Mr Lees’ encouragement and friendliness were part of his leadership qualities – and I believe he had a genuine desire to see the best in all his students.

And what a legacy he’s left! Not only for me but I’m sure for many of his other students as well.

A lasting memory of how one man can inspire others to do their best – simply because that’s how he sees them.

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