The primary difference is that we respond to managers, but we follow leaders. A leader is someone we like, and trust, because whose following someone they’re not down with, or believe? And certainly, a leader is someone with a high level of emotional intelligence, because it’s this that provides the edge; it is emotional intelligence which lets us read and respond to the between-the-lines needs of others, thereby elevating ourselves, and marking ourselves as leaders. Finally, leaders empower, and buffer.
Beyond the shadow of any doubt, Nathalie is a leader. Among the extreme few, in fact.
In 22 years at my place of work, I have never felt more cared for, safeguarded, and valued than I have felt since she began leading our team. She is an extraordinary gift to anyone she works with, and she makes work a better place every single day.
All of this, she does without breaking a sweat, and while always finding time for humour. More importantly is that she leads with compassion and kindness. Always always always.
Why? Because she is secure in who she is. And the exercise of anything other than kindness is 💯 rooted in insecurity. The kindness we show others is a direct reflection of the care we carry for ourselves, in exactly the same way that the respect we show others is a direct reflection of the respect we carry for ourselves. So how little must you think of yourself to be unkind?
Now. Apart from the gratitude I have re our work together, I am in fact more grateful for her friendship.
I am excited to keep laughing with this woman until we’re old and need help getting off the couch. I am soon shifting into a new work space, and man oh man, my heart is doing overtime not to break. I am absolutely blessed to have worked for Nathalie, and to have earned her friendship.
My dearest Nat. May life take you to the safest of spaces, where you are loved and safeguarded. May you always be valued for your warmth and energy, and may you only be surrounded by those who – like you – understand that in lifting others, we lift ourselves. ❤️