This is a tale based on a true leadership story, passed to me recently by a friend in an organisation who was impressed by one of her leaders …
Mrs B is known in her department by the nickname “Mrs Cardigan” for ALWAYS wearing one over her workplace uniform, no matter what the weather. One day she was talking about how warm it was in the building. My lovely friend said she must be boiling as she had, on this occasion, taken off her cardigan. Mrs B laughed and said she knew what her nickname was. My friend quickly offered that there were MUCH worse nicknames she could have. The leader asked who calls her by the nickname, and my friend confessed … the whole department!
The next day the leader sent an email round to say that she’d been reminded of her nickname and had decided to use it to raise some money for a children’s charity. She planned to wear a different hat, cap, bonnet, scarf to work daily, and take photos. Everyone else in the department had to guess how many different hats she would wear. She would do this until she ran out of headgear. She wasn’t allowed to buy or borrow any new items. £1 per guess, and the winner would get a bottle of wine.
And this might just be the best part …
Mrs B emailed my friend to say the idea had come about as a result of their conversation. My friend told me:
“I think this is a brilliant idea. Very silly and harmless. Shows her human side.”
So, not a model or a complicated tool in sight … but the human touch from a leader.
Fantastic. Well done Mrs B.