What is a Leader?
My definition of a leader is someone who inspires others to reach beyond their comfort zone.
The inspiration can be through example, encouragement, or challenging.
An Early Example
I’m going to start by going back to one of my first jobs, which was at McDonald’s. Anyone has been at McDonald’s and seen that there are many managers that work at the restaurant, and, to be honest, most of the time they are not great leaders, but where I worked there was one manager who was a good leader, Dennis Bouchard. He never asked a crew member to do something he would not do, and was never afraid to be challenged by one of us high school kids. He and I would go nose to nose on some issues and that is what I respected him for. He knew what needed to be done, challenged us to get it done, waded in when we were struggling, and allowed us to disagree with how it should be done.
A Current Example
The person who is currently challenging me to do more is someone else who was tagged by Grant, Andy Warren. I met Andy in the fall of 2007 at a one day seminar by Joe Celko before the first SQLSaturday in Orlando. I got to know him through OPASS and having him come in and do some consulting on a project at work. Since meeting Andy I have begun blogging, written 4 articles for SQLServerCentral, done several videos for JumpstartTV, spoken at OPASS, spoken at SQLSaturday #8, committed to speak at the Space Coast User Group, and submitted 2 sessions for the PASS Summit. In doing all these things my knowledge and experience in SQL Server had probably doubled. If you had told me 2 years ago that I would have done all these things and met (online and in person) the people I have met, like Grant, Gail Shaw, Steve Jones, and others, I would have told you that you were nuts! All this because Andy took an interest in me and challenged and encouraged me to do more. Thanks Andy.
I have not seen either of these folks tagged yet, so I’ll tag: