Be Engaged, Be Passionate, Be Visionary
by Renée Robertson
Leaders come in all shapes, sizes, races and genders from all over the world. I believe that there is a leader in all of us and that it’s incumbent upon each of us to take responsibility for our own personal leadership, to embrace it and to have the courage to stand up for what we believe in.
According to Gallup’s 2013 State of the Global Workforce report, 80 percent of people globally never use their greatest gifts at work, which means that only 13 percent of workers worldwide are engaged at work, with Canada and the United States holding at about 29 percent engagement. I find these numbers disheartening, and I will be forever grateful to all of the mentors, champions and coaches who put me in a position where I could use my gift and passion for people development to make a living.
I felt a significant increase in responsibility when I assumed the role of coach, and I’ve made it my personal mission to provide support to those who reach out to me about business decisions and career planning. I know it’s not always possible to use your natural gifts to make a living, but I’m committed to doing the best I can to help those who want to try. My thinking here goes back to employee engagement and the thought that if you can do what comes naturally to you, what you enjoy doing, you will be happier and more engaged; therefore, creating a win–win for all—you, your organization and your company.
I was a top-performing sales manager, responsible for $150 million-plus in annual revenue, working in a company with annual revenue of approximately $40 billion. I had a vision for that company, made up of tens of thousands of employees worldwide, to become a place where employees would thrive as they developed professionally. No one gave me this vision. No one held my hand as I voiced my ideas. I saw a bigger picture and I had the passion to see it come to fruition. Despite the challenges that I faced, I never gave up, and for that I became a better manager, leader and role model for my employees, colleagues and most importantly, my daughters. I encourage each of you to find the leader within you and embrace it. Have the courage to pursue your own passions.