“LEAP is the business community for women in acclaimed organisations who aspire to maximise the efforts and impact of female talent.” At their event last Monday I was asked by Erica van Ooyen to share my ideas on leadership values. It was during a panel session together with Jos Nijhuis (CEO Schiphol Group), Peter Molengraaf (CEO Liander) and Carla Smits-Nusteling (CFO KPN).
It was a nice opportunity to give some background on my personal motto: “Dream Big, Work Hard, Be Nice”. I had been receiving a lot of questions about it since it appeared on my Twitter profile.
Dream Big has everything to do with vision. You have to know where you’re going. And you don’t have to be scared to share your dream. If people share that vision they will follow you on your quest. The destination might be different than what you once envisioned, and that’s the whole point. You will find people who are much better at what they do than you are. You’re the one who walks in a storm and says: “Follow me boys, we can’t be beat”.
Work Hard is often overlooked. Nothing comes easy. If you know what you want, you should be all-in. It can never be a side project; you can’t ‘juggle’ with ambitions. Hard work also means: not taking the easy road. Sometimes the easy way is tempting, but it won’t bring you where you want. Sending one e-mail to a hundred people is easy. Sending one hundred people one e-mail is hard.
Be Nice has much to do with who you are and how you act in social relations. Leadership is not something you force upon, it’s given to you by others. Peter Molengraaf made a strong point by refering to the golden rule, e.g. “Don’t treat others as you would not wish to be treated yourself.”
People should like to work with you. And you know what they say: A leader without followers is just taking a walk.