How Sharing My Personal Stories Made Me a More Understanding Leader


What is that?

The Oxford dictionary defines it as a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

And how does it shape leadership?

Job Applications

I am reminded of a conversation I had with a friend who complained about the lack of responsiveness from companies to which she applied for a job. It was not a strange feeling given I had been in this same position a few times in college.

However, having recently hired a few people for my team or just participated in hiring decisions as one of the business leaders, I was now of a different perspective.

I explained:
Sis, there are so many applicants and us, like most companies may have to optimize which applications make it to my desk.

Secondly, if we decide to move forward with another candidate, there is no guarantee that everything will work out fine granted we still have procedures in place like a background check, drug and alcohol test and or a physical test if applicable. Not withstanding, there is also a 90 day typical qualification period.
With all of this, telling you I’m sorry I decided to go with another candidate, may or may not be what you want to hear as a job seeker.

This was my story as a hiring manager but I knew well enough what a job seeker’s frustration was on the other hand.

Max De Pree said “the first responsibility of a leader is to define reality”

I had been a job seeker – that was my past reality

I was now a hiring manager – this was my current reality

I will need to hire people – that will be my future reality

With these three working in tandem, I had the power to change the narrative or better still, the stories in my head.

A leader needs to have the right perspective – a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.

Just as the same camera and location may produce different qualities of pictures in the hands of different photographers, there is always a story.

The leader seeks to understand the context of the situation, the people whom they lead and the operating guidelines, then from which an objective decision can be made.

Being effective as a leader is not centered on the leader’s value but even more about the people they lead

At the end of the conversation, while my friend hoped she received some form of closure, she had more understanding of what happens after she submits an application for a job.

We can change our perspective.

It begins with our story.

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