What the Shoeshine Guy Knows about Leadership

So I’ve got some extra time at the Calgary airport. I had just delivered a daylong workshop on Effective Leadership to 50 members of a trade association. I decide to get my shoes shined.

Franklin, the affable shoeshine guy, quickly engages me in a conversation and asks what brought me to Calgary. I tell him.

He immediately asserts, ‘Let me tell you something about leadership, my friend.’

Oh, maybe I should have attended his workshop.

‘I manage four people. Soon, I’ll be opening another location here at the airport. And I will tell you that the most important thing about leadership, it doesn’t matter what business you are in … is respect. Always be respectful of your people.’

Well. Exactly right.

Maybe next time the trade association doesn’t need to hire me. They could hire Franklin.

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