A leader not just leads, but oversees the welfare of his subordinates, he make friends with them, and caters to their needs, at the same time, his subordinates will cater to his needs and follow his leadership and will put an infinite trust and belief in his capabilities. Thus, gaining loyalty and support, not because of safety in position, but because of pure belief.
Let's call him Mickey, no, that's not his real name of course. I want to call him Mickey because of his unusually large ears and lightly grown mustache that looks like whiskers. SO he definitely looks like a mouse, of the cute kind of course.
I met him from my previous work. He's already in the fast track up the corporate ladder when I was adopted under his wing, around 5 years ago. One distinct leadership characteristic of Mickey is humility, the more he puts himself at the level of his subordinates, the more followers he gain. He does not simply tell, but ask us to do things. He doesn't simply give orders, he inspires us, so we will deliver not just what we can, but also to outperform ourselves.
I remember our coaching sessions over a grande sized latte from Starbucks. I remember our daily coffee sprees when he just arrived at the office and before he starts his day, he never fails to come over my at station and ask me to go with him to Starbucks to have his daily dose of caffein and nicotine. I never said no and just gave in to the splurge of such expensive coffee, all for friendship and a few minutes to bond with him. When he got promoted, one thing I will never forget are these words... "Promotion is not about gaining power, it is all about more responsibility".
I remember when you lend me your books and gave me just a week to finish each one, and we will have a book review session every week before you make me read another. I was pressured, but I learned. I remember when you were "silently disappointed" when I miss our SLA with just a few points, you put your whole trust in me not to fail, but I did. You did not talk to me for week or two. I was very disappointed at myself too, after all these years, please accept my apologies. Mistakes after all, makes us stronger if we learn, I sure did. I will never forget the lessons you taught me. On how you give importance to humility above everything else. On how not to burn bridges but rather reach out to as many people as we can. Not to destroy and put hate on the people we meet because one day and one way or another they will be able to help us or serve us in another way. I miss our coffee talks, sweaty boxing sessions, non-stop smoking until our lungs give in, the endless "panlalait and pamumuna" of strangers. Do you remember when when were in Starbucks one day and you said that you will never go abroad just to be a security guard; and you said "hindi ako pinanganak para utasan at magbantay" and there was security guard behind us. We freaked out and went to work in a hurry that night. Eventually you left us to pursue your dreams, I did understand you, but we were all lonely and lost when you left, in time, everyone left including me. Despite of your absence, we never did forget all the lessons you taught us, I still look up to you until now. You were not just my boss, you were not just our leader, you were a brother. I am not just your follower, I am a loyal friend. This post is my little way of saying Thank You for all the things you instill in me and as my dedication to a very good friend.
You are dearly missed. Happy Father's Day.