Leadership matters when it happens in real time on a daily basis. It becomes relevant when you see it, feel it and experience it. I have been fortunate to do all of those things with Ralph. Ralph is the guy who is the glue to a building project that I am responsible for completing. Well, actually, Ralph is responsible for completing. He is the project manger who is making this vision come to life. I have watched as he navigated contractors who were difficult to deal with, decorators who tried his patience and owners (like me) who gave him difficult timelines and created several curves from the original plan.
No matter what obstacles are placed before him Ralph handles them with professionalism, respect and honesty. He admits when balls are dropped and he works hard to correct any problem. He leads with his work ethic, integrity and humble spirit. Ralph puts it like this: "I learn a lot more when I listen and I stay out of trouble when I keep my mouth shut". These are words of wisdom!
What amazes me is how he interacts with those of us who are novices in his area of expertise. He is consistent to politely explain timelines and answer our questions (sometimes the same ones over and over) with honesty and kindness. He always thinks before he speaks and is careful not to over promise and then under deliver. He makes commitments he can keep.
Working with Ralph has reminded me of what a servant leader looks like and how he/she behaves. His example is inspiring and his leadership is making a difference.