Two things came together in my various timelines today that made me think back.
The first was a reminder, on Facebook, that on this day six years ago Jack Layton held his final press conference. It is a day I remember vividly, as I had been planning to take it off, but I got a phone call from my boss telling me that she really needed me to be there. When I arrived, another boss came into my office and gave me my task for the morning – to watch carefully for leaks to the media before the press conference started. Memories are faulty, but I’m fairly certain that at that point I hadn’t been told what would leak if we had one, but since that was my job – to be at my desk, watching the news, watching Twitter, watching websites – it meant I was not in the big room where they gathered staff to tell them all at once that our dear leader had cancer again, and would be taking a break from leading the party.
The second was on my Pinterest, a simple message someone saved about leadership. When I talk to leaders I get the feeling that I am important. And I remember. When Jack was my boss more than once he called a meeting with the staff of the whole leader’s office, usually at the end of a sitting, and he asked us what we thought. He legitimately asked us what we thought of how the session had gone and how the party was doing, and then he sat there and listened. He made you feel like he was listening to you and that he cared what you had to say.
I say he made you feel that way, I know a lot of things in politics are fake, but I still believe that he did care. That’s why I loved working for him, and I think that’s why when people ask who I worked for and I tell them they usually put a hand over their heart and say “ah.”
I know that other people feel that way about our current Prime Minister. I have met him a few times and he has that same aura about him. When he’s shaking your hand or taking a picture, it feels as though he’s right there, listening to you.
In the event that I ever become a boss or a mentor, I hope that this is the type of leadership I can provide. It has meant so much to me.