I consider myself extremely fortunate.The reason I feel so blessed is because I received an extraordinary education from my parents, professors and mentors.
With extraordinary education, I mean that the pillars of my education were built on solid ethical and humanistic foundations.
Good leadership starts with genuine human values, solid morals and ethics.
Kids are mimetic. They observe and replicate adult behaviors. Our parents, professors and mentors are our role-models, our most admired leaders, so whatever they do, right or wrong, will be adopted by kids as the conventional pattern.
Parents build the foundations
My father was lucky enough to attend University during a period where just a small percentage of the population could afford to go to school.
My mom comes from a very modest family. Her dad was killed during the Spanish Civil War. She was 8 and after this fatal event, she had to quit school and start working to provide for her younger siblings.
They came from completely different backgrounds, but both of them shared well-founded ethical and humanistic values.
These are the most valuable things I learned from my parents.
- Be affable.
- Be compassionate.
- Be generous.
- Be benevolent.
- Be respectful.
Professors and career mentors are the framers
During my years at school and university, my professors helped solidify the job done by my parents on ethics and morals. At early stages in my career I had the privilege to work for a very wise mentor.
My mentor instilled in me a strong sense of humanism and the importance of giving before asking.
He had recently created the Manager, Training and Best Practices role. I have always loved learning and sharing knowledge, so the position was simply perfect for me.
The day he hired me, I was stupid enough to ask him:
What title should I put in my business cards?
His answer made me feel very embarrased:
Put Jordi Alemany. Great leaders do not need a title.
Your goal should be to become the first name coming to people’s mind when they are seeking good advice or in need for help. The moment you achieve that, you will never need a title again.”
He taught me how critical it was to listen, understand and fulfill other people´s needs in order to become a great leader, both in the corporate world and in your personal life.
He liked to connect the size of my bonus to the No. of people I helped throughout the year. Nothing else, nothing less.
During my first three months in this role, he targeted out a bunch of key people in the organization, from the CEO and SVPs, to the facilities manager and some new hires. He made a personal call to each of them, asking them to block 30 min. for my introduction.
My goal: Find out how I could help them out and get them to offer me a project.
By the end of the year, he called everyone I had interacted with during the year, and ask them openly “Was Jordi of any help to you and your team this year?”.
In order to get my bonus I had to get a minimum of 50% of the people I had worked with responding affirmatively to his question. Otherwise I would fail my annual performance assessment and miss the bonus. I had the same goal for my almost 2 years working with him.
When I asked him why he was so generous and thoughtful, he used to respond:
Jordi my goal as your manager and mentor is to make you better than me. The wiser you become, the better manager and mentor I become myself, so we both win.
His nick name in the company was “The Brain” and almost all former CEO´s and SVPs had reported to him at some point in their careers.
Before I got promoted 2 years later, I asked him how I could return all his support, and great lessons learnt. He surprised me again with this answer:
I just hope that you treat your future team members in the same way I treated you during your time here. Be generous and help your people exploit their full potential. This is how you become a great leader!
What I learned from my mentor:
- Be insightful.
- Be humble.
- Be empathetic.
- Be thoughtful.
- Be unselfish.
We are all family, professors or mentors to someone else, so let´s join forces and give our youth the most valuable heritage, an exceptional education based on genuine ethics and human values.
I hope you enjoyed the reading. If so, don´t forget to click on “Like” and share it with others who may find it useful.
You may also like to read my recent posts on Linkedin.
- Are You An Innovative Leader?
- The Four Essentials Of Senior Leadership.
- The Golden Rule For Exceptional Leadership.
- The Broken Bridge.
- The Sum of 3 Human Essentials
- The 60-30-10 Rule. The Secret to Career Success
Jordi is the Managing Principal Consultant at Key SChain Solutions, a management consulting firm specializing in Leadership Coaching, Organizational Strategy, Portfolio Management and Operational Excellence.