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Bheki Dlamini
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A true leader, not a boss! Great Inspiration!

21 May 2014, 07:42
True leader, not a boss!

While employed by this multinational company, I had the privilege of working with one of the most humble bosses I have ever gotten to know. He was so humble he didn’t even like to be referred to as the boss. He preferred to be called by either his name or just colleague. Not even Mr, just his name.

Having left the organization four years ago, I went to see his this past weekend and the first thing that he asked me was “what have I been up to?” I looked at him and said “you should have done everything to stop me from leaving! It’s a jungle out there and you let me go just like that”.

We laughed about it but at some point in the past few years I actually did wish he had stopped me from going.  I realized halfway in that the joy of starting my own company had clouded my mind and made me overlook the risks involved. I wish someone had told me it wasn’t going to be easy. Or did I choose not to listen?

You see, when I told my boss that I was leaving the organization he was shocked to an extent that he spent the whole week trying to convince me to stay.  He refused to sign my resignation letter. He tried so hard to ensure that I was aware of what I was getting myself into.

Having only worked for a few years, he knew that I wouldn’t have accumulated that much capital to continue living as I did. He eventually came to my house when I told him that should he not let me go I will just leave.

Once again, he had come to try and convince me to rethink my decision. We had become so close that it felt as though we were family. He was always there to guide me either in my personal life or professional life.

He would always say when my personal life is in distress, my professional life suffered, and vice versa. A true inspiration indeed.

I tried to be to my employees half the leader he was to me in vain.

After four years, he is still the same humble gentleman I had grown so close to. The most ethical leader ever. Lived by the right principles and upheld his values at all times.

If there’s one quote of his that I will never forget is “when you want people to listen to you and understand you, speak softly”. It works wonders. He was always open to suggestions and ideas. Encouraged us to be innovative and think outside the box, something that contributed towards my decision to leave and venture into business. 

Every time I hear someone complaining about his boss I wonder what that feels like. I have always had great bosses that significantly contributed to my growth. True leaders that I always wanted to learn from.

Now this past weekend, as I continued telling him about the challenges that I had faced in the business world, I thanked him for moulding me and giving me the wisdom to face anything the world threw at me. For three years that I worked under him I had never seen him lose his cool. Never!

Thank you so much Mr DR! Forget the “Mr”!

Inspired by the say “leadership is a service, not a position”.
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