The Leaders We Remember Most

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 12.48.55 PMThe leaders we remember most are not necessarily the ones who have a fancy office or important position.

The leaders we remember most, the ones who stand out from the rest, are the ones who are different: in their actions, in their thinking, and certainly in the way they have interacted with us.

The leaders we remember most are the ones who have followed the practices of leadership from within:

They challenged us. They’re the ones who showed us we can always be better than we thought we could, who encouraged us to do what we thought was impossible.

They acknowledged us. They took the time to express their gratitude. They provided recognition to us and acknowledged our effort.

They listened to us. They made time to listen and paid attention to what we had to say. They helped us learn what it’s like to really be listened to.

They trusted us. Memorable leaders know that trust is at the core of any relationship. When they depended on us, we felt secure and supported, and because of that we became more accountable and responsible.

They made time for us. They made us feel important—they took the time to hear what we had to say. No excuses and no broken promises. They gave us the gift of their time.

They cared for us. By showing us kindness and respect, they created memorable connections and opened our hearts to learn from them.

They supported us. They didn’t give us all the answers or solve all our problems. Instead they did something we will never forget: They faced our challenges with us.

They gave us room to make mistakes They’re the ones who allowed us to make our own mistakes, helping us learn to look our walls for broader perspectives and deeper insight.

They believed in us. They showed us that one person who believes in you more than you believe in yourself is enough to change your life and leadership forever.

They honored us. By recognizing who we were and who we could become, they inspired us not only to perform better but to be better.

Lead from within: The leaders we remember most are the ones who made the biggest impression—not only in our minds but in our hearts too. They made us feel significant and they let us know we mattered and because they did we will never forget them.


Lolly Daskal is one of the most sought-after executive leadership coaches in the world. Her extensive cross-cultural expertise spans 14 countries, six languages and hundreds of companies. As founder and CEO of Lead From Within, her proprietary leadership program is engineered to be a catalyst for leaders who want to enhance performance and make a meaningful difference in their companies, their lives, and the world.

Of Lolly’s many awards and accolades, Lolly was designated a Top-50 Leadership and Management Expert by Inc. magazine. Huffington Post honored Lolly with the title of The Most Inspiring Woman in the World. Her writing has appeared in HBR, Inc.com, Fast Company (Ask The Expert), Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, and others. Her newest book, The Leadership Gap: What Gets Between You and Your Greatness is being released by Portfolio May 2017.

44 Responses to “The Leaders We Remember Most”

  1. David Tumbarello

    16. Sep, 2014

    I read the list & I think of the concept of maturity – in terms of emotions, relationships, motives, goals, and leadership qualities. Is it really this simple? Of course my answer is that it is not simple at all. Maybe that is why memorable leaders are to be treasured.

    Reply to this comment
  2. lollydaskal

    16. Sep, 2014

    You are so right.

    It is not that simple, but it is a start of some awareness.

    I truly appreciate your last sentence it touched my heart when you said……”Maybe that is why memorable leaders are to be treasured.” Those words are so spot on and so beautifully said.

    Thank you David I truly appreciate your thoughts and insight.

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  3. Bill Benoist

    16. Sep, 2014

    There is so much truth in what you write.

    Even today, at 55, the one leader I remember who had the biggest impact on me was a high school teacher. He was someone who took interest in me – a 15 year old delinquent, when others had pretty much written me off.

    He had no fancy office or official title, but he demonstrated all the points above and was definitely a contributing factor for who I am today.

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Sep, 2014

      Bill

      THANK YOU for taking the time to share your story.

      You are one lucky man to have had someone who took an interest in you.

      Because today you are a leader that many will remember…why…. for all the reasons stated above!

      Love to you.
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  4. Panteli Tritchew

    16. Sep, 2014

    All of these traits resonated, but the two that resonated most deeply for me were “they trusted us” and they “believed in us.” When we trust someone, we make ourselves vulnerable and when believe in someone we honor them. These are two of the most beautiful and fundamentally human gifts we can exchange. Wonderful post!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Sep, 2014

      Here you go again Panteli

      You have an elegant way of expressing yourself and it always makes me nod my head with agreement….and I hear myself saying…true..true…true..

      To be trusted and to have someone who believes in us – they are very important elements. (very true)

      All the above traits are traits of grace. When we have grace we have heart.

      And you are one leader that many will remember for a long long time. I know … because I experience your heart every week.

      And for that I thank you!

      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  5. Jon Stallings

    16. Sep, 2014

    Great list Lolly – It is clear the best leaders are those that are focused on leading their team. – They know that their success is founded on the teams success.

    Reply to this comment
  6. lollydaskal

    16. Sep, 2014

    Jon

    Absolutely the best leaders, the ones we remember most are leaders that serve. (team, company, community)

    Thanks so much for your insight and comment. Appreciate you.

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  7. Garren Fagaragan

    16. Sep, 2014

    aloha Lolly…

    I was going to say how “spot on”
    you were in this post…then I read your
    response to David…funny.

    Anyway…I see how memorable leaders
    embody the qualities you articulated.

    I have found that these very qualities
    nourish…draw out the “Leader from
    within”.

    Thank you for the post. I appreciate it.
    Make it a great day!

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      16. Sep, 2014

      Is the list complete?

      I belive it is a very great start and Garren I truly appreciate your confidence in me. It means the world to me.

      Love to you!

      Hope all is well
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  8. Bob Vanourek

    16. Sep, 2014

    Great list, Lolly, as usual.
    May I add: “They coached us”?
    Great leaders unleash other leaders by giving them leadership assignments and coaching them. Leadership is best learned experientially and under the wings of other great leaders.

    Reply to this comment
  9. lollydaskal

    16. Sep, 2014

    Bob spot on!

    Coached us!

    Thank you for your addition– I am only as good as I know, I get better with support and input from others.

    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  10. Terri Klass

    16. Sep, 2014

    Memorable leaders see our gifts and are able to help us develop them. They can envision what we have to share and stick with us until it happens.

    Memorable leaders will stay with us forever.

    Thank you Lolly for being a memorable leader to me!

    Reply to this comment
  11. LaRae Quy

    16. Sep, 2014

    Love all of your descriptions here, Lolly!

    The one that resonated with me the most was: challenged me!

    Since we all have different personalities, we are motivated by different approaches, but I needed that kick in the butt that often comes with the challenge!

    It created that spark of initiative that responded with “Yes, I can!”

    Great post, Lolly! And have an awesome week!

    Reply to this comment
  12. Solomon

    17. Sep, 2014

    What says it all about memorable leaders, for me, is leading within. I believe leadership is both about the heart and the mind. Most of the times you’re guided by the mind for effective decion-making, but at times your heart takes over to dictate as you’re deaing with people. And the mind submits to theheart. The effect the chemistry of heart and mind brings is what makes leaders memorable.

    Reply to this comment
  13. Peter Embleton

    17. Sep, 2014

    I have had two principals who lived the list you showed us. They were able to see the talents a person had and had a great way of letting you explore and develop them. They were also not adverse to calling you in and letting you know when you made a mistake.

    Reply to this comment
  14. Beth Tabak

    18. Sep, 2014

    Oh Lolly- You just described my boss when I sold real estate in my late 20s in southern Maryland. She was exceptional. Such a great listener, encourager, and believed in me more than I believed in myself. She died a few years ago, too soon, from cancer but to this day I still think of her. She is a leader I am certain is remembered by many Realtors in southern Maryland because she was blessed at a young age to have all of the qualities you mentioned above.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Barbara Ward

    19. Sep, 2014

    I think back over my career and a couple of people stick out, they exhibited the qualities you list and had the ability to be totally ‘for’ you. I think a good leader is always remembered and a good workplace that values and develops it’s workers is a big plus in any career. Thank you

    Reply to this comment
  16. Vikas Saxena

    19. Sep, 2014

    Hi Lolly : Thanks for the post on ‘The Leaders We Remember’. To say that, the substance therein was insightful and enlightening, is tantamount to an understatement. Semantic bankruptcy precludes me from expressing my appreciation adequately. All the same, I hope you do understand what am I wanting to say. Your summation is a perfect ready-reckoner of the virtues and the competencies of a leader who immortalises himself / herself, and by being exemplary. My professional spectrum covers this domain, and suffice it to say, your post is remarkable. My heartiest plaudits to you. Best wishes always !

    Reply to this comment
    • lollydaskal

      19. Sep, 2014

      Vikas

      Thank you for your comment. Leaders that we remember most are the one we want to emulate.
      Lead with Love
      Lolly

      Reply to this comment
  17. Robert S.

    19. Sep, 2014

    Lolly – This post brought me back to my military days.

    I had two remarkable commanders that were well above my pay grade that applied everything you have listed..!! I remember being assigned to the position of one and during my first meeting he said, “SGT, I put on my pants like you do every morning, so let’s work together and make this the best darn unit in the battalion.” I still to this day would take a bullet for him..!! Have a blessed day..!!

    Reply to this comment
  18. Veronica

    19. Sep, 2014

    Thank you so much for this comprehensive list! It has been my experience that few leaders are willing to share their time, knowledge, and energy even when you demonstrate your commitment, passion, and integrity. For those exemplary leaders that provided all or most of your list, I send cards, kudos, and encouragement often. Again thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  19. Ron Worman

    19. Sep, 2014

    Every person needs a guide, a mentor, and a confidant on the path to value. And then they need to give back the same way. To teach is to learn.

    Reply to this comment
  20. Geno Redmon

    20. Sep, 2014

    Lolly. That was a simple and elegant article. Great message.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Alex Sandro Alves Miranda

    20. Sep, 2014

    Morning, Lolly! Excellent article. I am Learning so much us. Congratulations and such have you very success yet. Regards

    Reply to this comment
  22. Carlomaria

    20. Sep, 2014

    I think that … you haven’t wrote one list but a concept that you have gradually explained step by step to stigmatize to make it understandable to make it feel “our”…
    Well, basically you say that the best leader is the one who with his example communicate t us … is the one that understand us, inspires us, gives us confidence and makes us grow bringing us one step ahead … as if it were a strong mother or a grandfather …
    I think that you’re right. I believe that you have translated this philosophy into a concept that we all can understand. In conclusion we can say that great leaders don’t need redundant offices … don’t need unnecessary stress … NO. they just need to listen to his people, to understand, trust and respect them because those people are his force and represent his success. Of course … if leaders are capable.
    Dear Lolly, congratulations, you’re right, and you did a good job !!

    Reply to this comment
  23. Søren Schnedler

    22. Sep, 2014

    Great post Lolly. Maybe we could ad – They knew when to say yes AND no
    All the best 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  24. lollydaskal

    22. Sep, 2014

    Leaders know when to say yes and when to say no.
    You are right!
    Thanks Soren for sharing.
    Appreciate your thoughts and insight.
    Lolly

    Reply to this comment
  25. Bob Brady

    26. Sep, 2014

    The decisions we make, how we make them, and their impact on others within our enterprises are the very stuff from which our legacies will be built. The matter of legacy can be considered as a stringing together by others of the consistent stands we may have taken as business leaders.

    Reply to this comment
  26. Andrea

    01. Nov, 2014

    This article is so on point, and can be used as a road map for all who dare to have an impact on others. I’ve also added these to parenting as with our kids they don’t care how much we know but thrive when they know how much we care. Thanks for your transparency and simplicity of writing. You continue to add to my life.

    Reply to this comment
  27. John Richard Bell

    12. Nov, 2014

    Though I missed this when it was first posted, the point is that this blog is timeless. Thanks for re-posting, Lolly.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Deb

    05. May, 2015

    Great article!
    Great tribute to the teachers, colleagues, managers, friends and family that have helped to mold us into the people we are today! I often think on many of these special people and hope that I am able to “pay it forward “to others along the way!
    Especially the people that could see potential and gave me wonderful tools to help along the way.
    I often credit my 4th grade teacher who sat me next to the brightest girl in the class so that I could learn from her and strive to achieve more.
    Additionally, some wonderful managers that taught me so much about sales and marketing. I continue to describe many of the lessons I learned from them many years that I utilize currently.
    Deb Keene
    http://www.continentalmetal.com

    Reply to this comment
  29. Allison Dean Love

    14. Jun, 2015

    Lolly, Thank you for these profound words! I used this as a tribute to someone retiring from The Citadel recently and I had a lot of people ask me where I got it. This is so true and I am thankful to know you “virtually.” Allison

    Reply to this comment
  30. Steeve Kunakey

    23. Aug, 2015

    Great, deep and thoughtful article !

    Heart is the key

    Reply to this comment
  31. shandy

    13. Oct, 2015

    you always feed my heart and soul… and brain. been a leader for a decade and your post really helped me a lot. your insights about leadership has gained me more knowledge on how to put my team on top and make them successful too. I owe a lot Lolly.

    thank you!

    Reply to this comment
  32. Dick Wagner

    11. Sep, 2016

    Every week when I read your Lead from Within articles, I can’t help myself but say “wow, that’s exactly right.” Those few people that challenged me to be better are the ones that helped me the most – even when I was trying NOT to stretch myself because it was uncomfortable. Thanks for great inspiration and reminders!

    Reply to this comment
  33. Mahadeo

    26. Jun, 2017

    Really meaningful and thought provoking and also inspiring…

    Reply to this comment

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