"Don't invest in the stock market, don't invest in toys, invest in other people's lives”
Throughout my career at Populus Group (PG), I’ve gained knowledge and experience. However, the impact PG has made on my life is priceless. I never thought that work could really change you, professionally or personally. I’ve come to realize that I’m incredibly self-critical, I doubt my own potential, and deflect recognition to others. Well, I was that person until March 2014. I attempted to leave a leadership role because I’d convinced myself I wasn't a good leader. I criticized myself when things didn’t go exactly right and thought I would never be as good as the leaders I admired. In March, I spoke with someone in the PG community who has since become one of the most influential people in my life. This person looked at me and said "I'm surprised you want to move out of a leader role because you have so much potential. Give me a chance for a few months and if you still feel that way then move out of the role." I was very skeptical and thought "yeah right, me potential?", but agreed.
I quickly learned how those words would change me forever. All it took was one person to believe in me to change me both professionally and personally. That person taught me what leadership was all about. It's about your people and helping them achieve their fullest potential. It's not about adding leaders, but multiplying them. It’s finding your own style of leadership and not trying to imitate someone else’s. It's about how many people you’re impacting. As a leader everything you do is for your people, because people are what matter most.
I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I’d moved out of my role. Looking back, I was running out of fear of failure. Personally, I’m much happier because I’m learning to be less critical of myself by embracing and learning from my mistakes. Professionally, I’m confident in my potential, and not afraid of the next challenge. I still need to work on my weaknesses, but I am light years ahead of where I was all because one person changed my perspective. Most importantly, I know the best way to repay the person who helped me is to pay it forward. I owe it to others to do what this person did for me. To believe in them and help them realize their potential, so they can do what they thought was impossible. I want to create a domino effect of leaders.
I couldn't be prouder to be part of the PG family. They get it; they found the secret to success by investing in leaders that will multiply – ones that exhibit the true qualities of a leader. Our leaders do it for us, their people. They believe so much in us that they invest their own time to develop us, listen to our problems, and stay after hours when we need to talk through something. They take the time to learn what’s most important to us; our families, hobbies, interests, pet peeves, and so much more. It's really that simple – just invest in your people.
"If you take care of your people, your people will take care of your customers, and your business will take care of itself" –J.W. Marriott