Leadership and Dealing with Personal Differences

By Ghada Melek

For contemporary working women, it is important to reflect on the meaning of leadership, not from the perspective of managing time and resources, but rather, like the ability to influence people and achieve results. We all know that the ultimate goal of leading is to get things done, but depending on the scale of the task at hand, the support of others may be required. Therefore, whether in the office or at home, we need to possess the right leadership skills and tools to create healthy, productive environments.

In his book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” Dale Carnegie acknowledges that the most successful leaders are not necessarily ones who are experts in their fields, but rather, ones who can unlock the potential of others to achieve collective success (win-win scenarios). With that in mind, let’s talk about one of the key behavioural trends that limit us from being successful leaders; trying to have the cake and eat it up.

Ghada Melek is a Senior Manager with Deloitte. She immigrated to Canada in 1990 where she studied Mechanical Engineering and went on to work in the automotive industry before joining Deloitte in 2005. Throughout her 11 years with Deloitte, Ghada focused on serving clients in the Automotive, Commodities and Oil & Gas industries as part of local and national teams. Her role required her to manage projects and people in addition to helping with recruitment and training. Her passion for building a better community led Ghada to run in the 2014 Mississauga municipal elections where she finished second against her six other competitors.
Ghada Melek is a Senior Manager with Deloitte. She immigrated to Canada in 1990 where she studied Mechanical Engineering and went on to work in the automotive industry before joining Deloitte in 2005. Throughout her 11 years with Deloitte, Ghada focused on serving clients in the Automotive, Commodities, and Oil & Gas industries as part of local and national teams. Her role required her to manage projects and people in addition to helping with recruitment and training. Her passion for building a better community led Ghada to run in the 2014 Mississauga municipal elections where she finished second against her six other competitors.

While most of us understand the importance of recognizing and rewarding others to keep a motivated team, many would admit that our emotional nonsense could be the very reason why we fail to apply this basic rule. For example, some of us cannot handle seeing the credit go to someone else (i.e. a subordinate, another more popular colleague…, etc.), even if this means they will remain motivated to keep getting things done. They win (feel good), we win (get results); they get the cake (recognition); we eat it (results).

In a business context, if we are the supervisors or coach of a star performer, we should not feel threatened by giving them credit because their success will automatically reflect well on us and may advance our career down the road. Keep in mind that recognizing others is not only essential to their progress but also to ours.

Personal differences, dislikes, and hard feelings could be other emotional barriers that stall our ability to recognize and reward others. Whether it is our teenage child, spouse or a co-worker, we sometimes feel reluctant to acknowledge and give credit to someone who hurts us, or who is simply not on our list of good friends. Not sure how many of you have tried to take the high road in such situations, but let me assure you that it works; you just need to be patient. A repeated courteous behavior has the power of mending hard feelings, and if not, it will surely place us on a higher moral ground over time and set us apart from the crowd.


Originally posted 2016-02-18 22:54:10.

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