The leadership style of 'Safety'
Authentic leadership is leading adaptively from your core, choosing whom you're most inspired to be to serve the greatest good at this moment. ~ Henna Inam
Four years into establishing my own business, Hearts and Minds and years of awaiting our first child. My life turned upside down because I had a team that was family to me and now with the arrival of my daughter, I was stumbling and my ideals and integrity crumbling. The identity crisis deepened as my girl turned one. I spoke to my dear friend, Francis Jee who always helps me to see the sense without feeling that my value will be compromised but clarified. I knew that I can’t have both. One has to supersede. I knew, so did my teammates. We struggled together.
Francis introduced me a friend, who is establishing his training business. I knew my answer before I met him but I would still go as I didn’t know how to say that to Francis Jee.
We met in Bangsar. I remember eating a banana muffin that I didn’t fancy. But he is white. He was nice but I waited for him to state his terms so that I can say no and not finish my muffin.
Oh no! He was talking to me about me. He was excited about my new journey in motherhood and its significance. I was shocked. He is a man. I was disappointed that I could use my line that day and quit. I was wrong. We said goodbye for the day. I can't remember if I finished the muffin.
I invited him to my programme, to see if my style will fit his needs. No way I am changing my style. And yes, then I can walk out. "Your style will carry our brand well, Malar". I believed him because he believed in me. In all the years I worked with him, I have been humbled many times over, that I had so much to learn from the brand and the leaders whom I experienced the brand, George Aveling.
The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” ~ Simon Sinek
The next couple of months was spent helping me help my teammates to transition so that I can transition to work as an associate trainer with him. I felt congruent. I felt peace .I was still me.
I slowly had no reason to fear. I felt safe. Hearts & Minds was safe. All that mattered to me was safe when I was with George Aveling.
The years working with TMI, specifically, George has built a reservoir of memories. One that helped me to bring my whole self to life because he won’t have it any other way.
I had two more kids and went through the cycle again. We had the roti canai and chatted. (Yes, he know what I don't like to eat) . He sensed it. He asked what was it that I wanted. And he listened and truly understood that I needed to go. It was difficult to join him but leaving him was even more difficult. He still made me feel safe. "You are a star, Malar and will continue to shine brighter".
All through the years, he checks on me regularly to listen to my chatters, dreams, pains and pleasures of life. And I continue to feel safe. I always felt special and I knew I was his favourite. Yes, it didn’t take me long to find out everyone else feels the same. Today is his birthday. Hey George, here’s wishing you happy birthday and blessing to me and everyone across the globe that you have touched.
Thank you for being the wind under my wings, even when I am elsewhere. My life has never been the same since we met.
Note: I wrote what I remember and these may not be George's own words.