Today’s guest blog post is written by Barb Dusek, founder of CorSpective and creator of the DIAL ClarityTM methodology. She is a presenter, trainer and meeting facilitator with experience in corporate management and human resources as well as holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology. I am honored to have her today as my guest blogger. Welcome, Barb!
A Teacher’s Lasting Impression
by Barb Dusek
At a leadership development conference in November 2007, the workshop speaker asked those of us in the audience a seemingly innocuous question. “Who,” she asked, “is one of your earliest memories of good leadership?” With hardly a conscious thought, I quickly wrote on my paper “Mr. Johnson.” “Good grief,” I thought to myself, “Why did his name pop up so quickly?”
Why Mr. Johnson? As it turns out, because sixth grade teacher Gordon Johnson instilled in me, as he did for many of his students, time-tested, solid principles of effective self-leadership. Those principles were subtly offered to us, by his example in the classroom and in our community. Mr. Johnson always saw each student as a uinque individual and, at the same time, as an important part of the overall team, which is a classic illustration of effective leadership. And he shared his personal passion by creating programs for students that engaged us in ecology and connected us to our elders. These programs helped us know Mr. Johnson, the guy, not just the teacher, another demonstration of leadership. He was also a stellar classroom manager, Gordon Johnson humbly modeled aspects of servant leadership that I have never forgotten.
So memorable was his style of leadership that I now use these examples as part of the work I do, coaching managers to build relationships with their employees. How could I have known in 1972, that his teaching would mold the facets of my manager’s training program in 2012?
I reconnected with Gordon Johnson in the summer of 2012 to let him know that I still use what I learned in his classroom, both for the benefit of my own development and in my leadership coaching practice. In the same way as I knew him 40 years ago, he smiled a nod of encouragement and urged me to continue using my voice of influence for the good of many. And so I endeavor to do just that, Mr. Johnson. For many years to come, may I have the good fortune to bless others as you have blessed me.
Barb Dusek is on a mission to see people enjoy their workplace experiences. She uses the lessons learned in her sixth grade classroom as the platform for her keynote speaking, leadership coaching, and manager’s workshops. Learn more about Barb at http://www.corspective.com