Friday, March 28, 2014

What Makes an Influential Leader?

Photo credits here.
Today, I went to a job interview in one of the Metro's reputable hospitals. The HR personnel told me that the interviewer is a Physician by profession who just recently took the administrative role to lead the company's brand development efforts. At first, I thought, Okay, he's a doctor who probably knows much better about human anatomy than sentence structures. I had the confidence that I'll be able to pull this interview off just like past ones I've been invited in.

The interview began and he started talking. He blew me away! He knows what he is looking for and he asked the right questions to test whether I am what he needs or not. Hopefully I measured up to his expectations (fingers crossed). He was really good! Too good that I want to work for him already so that I can become a better writer.

So he put me on the spot and asked me to come up with a tag line for the hospital. It took my Pentium 3 brain quite a while to give him a sloppy one and I knew I completely looked like an inexperienced writer while wracking my head for the right words (trust me, I look like an idiot when I'm thinking--mouth wide open, eyeballs to the ceiling), but he was patient. Then, he let me explain that silly phrase I wrote on his Post-it. He listened to me and accepted everything I said. I was about to be relieved, but then he asked another question. Something I honestly don't know about.

"Tell me the difference between a press release and an advertorial." Wow! I've written numerous PRs and advertorials in my life, but I really did not know what their difference is. I mumbled my own description of a press release and advertorial but never really came close to the right answer. It was obvious that I don't have a clue, but he was forgiving. He picked up the correct points in my description and said, "Okay, so that you'll have your learning for today... the difference is that advertorials are paid while PRs are not." Makes perfect sense! Why didn't I think of that? And then he continued his lecture on PRs and advertorials. I gladly listened.

There goes my story. So why am I so certain that he's an influential leader? First off, I felt his superiority over me, but he did not make me feel inferior in a bad way. He made me feel that it's okay not to know everything and that he is willing to share his knowledge with me. He knows he is good, but he is not proud. He gives honest opinions and constructive criticisms. He acknowledges other people's good traits. Lastly, he made me want the position so badly.

In a short time, I observed all that about him. This first impression inspired me to become someone with an impact like that to people. On one hand, my assessment of him may not be completely accurate but on the other hand, his positive influence on me is a good indication that he truly is a great leader.

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