Dan Reiland, who was my right-hand man for many years, is an excellent leader and values people highly. But when he first came to work for me, he didn’t show it. One day when he was new on the job, I was chatting with some people in the lobby, and Dan came in, briefcase in hand. Dan walked right past all of us without saying a word and went straight down the hall toward his office. I was astounded. How could a leader walk right by a group of people he worked with and not even say hello to them? I quickly excused myself from the conversation I was having and followed Dan to his office.
“Dan,” I asked after greeting him, “how could you walk right past everybody like that?”
“I’ve got a lot of work to do today,” Dan answered, “and really want to get started.”
“Dan,” I said, “you just walked past your work. Never forget that leadership is about people.” Dan cared about people and wanted to serve them as a leader. He just didn’t show it.
–The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (John C. Maxwell)