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Exceptional leaders just don’t take charge, rather they take care of those within their charge.

Source | LinkedIn | Spencer Huang | Vice President Sales at Qubole

Have you ever felt that you were a critical component of something bigger than yourself? I have, and it was because I worked for an exceptional leader.

It was my first job out of college. The company was PeopleSoft and the CEO was David Arthur Duffield (otherwise known as Dave or D.A.D). I had only met Dave once or twice. Yet, how was he able to make me, a green 24-year-old, who spent most of the day working in a server room, feel so important?

Dave is an ordinary guy, but had an extraordinary vision.

On my first day, other PeopleSoft employees (affectionately nicknamed “PeoplePeople”) talked about Dave like he was one of them.

“Oh, you’ll definitely spend time with him at your employee orientation.”

“He sits in a cubical, answers his own phone, and he doesn’t believe in having a secretary.”

All of it was true.

Dave made the PeoplePeople feel connected to a purpose and mission that is bigger than just your job. He was like the young King David, on a modern-day mission to take down the Goliaths of Oracle and SAP. He made me feel that my role as a LAN support specialist of configuring NetBEUI protocols and fixing the trackball on employee’s laptops was mission-critical, because I was arming Dave with the pebbles and stones for his sling shot.  I believed (and still believe, to this day) that we were doing an industrywide good – providing outrageous customer service and offering products with customization and flexibility unlike anything seen before.

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