King George the fifth was the mouth-piece of hope for the duration of the second World War. As reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, he was known for his encouragement to “keep calm and carry on”. He was the first king that was fully broadcasted on public radio. All other monarchs before him were only required to smile and wave to the subject of the British Empire.
This public exposure would have been taken in stride by any other monarch, but King George was plagued by a socially disabling speech impediment. With the greatest world war pressuring the Empire, he could hardly get out a sentence without looking weak.
His wife found a speech therapist who saw him as a friend, and the therapist became a confidant to the King, all due to the ability of one individual believing in him and befriending him enough to provoke change.
I’ve seen countless lectures, speeches and presentations from people who are successful now and who came from humble beginnings.
I found particularly interesting those presenters who professed that they were at one time or another, deathly shy. In their history there is almost always that, “one teacher” or “one friend” or “one boss” that believed in them enough to see beyond their social or physical flaws.
As a leader, your responsibility, but more importantly your opportunity, is to find those who, without your positive influence, are likely to continue their lives on the back track. Being shy and quite isn’t a bad thing, but if the shyness is stunting their potential in how they are validadted and valued by others, then that is a problem.
The true joy of being a leader is found in seeing others succeed because of needs you observed and met.
Have a great weekend!