These are the leaders who set the bar for anyone who wants me to follow them:
Richard Rohr – for the avuncular nurture of my stunted faith and telling me I “sure do talk pretty.”
Justin Welby – for nudging me to connect to the parts of the church where I could grow.
Sir Ian Cheshire – for suffering my rackets and still employing me to teach psychology to his directors.
Vivienne Cox – for looking past my youth, my accent, my insecurities and establishing me as an executive coach in BP.
Margaret Wheatley – for refusing to indulge my “impressive” rhetoric and kicking my arse into the story I should be living. Thank you for Cantle.
Anita Roddick – for pasta, indiscretions, inclusion and warnings of the death that comes from achieving a life of comfort.
Tony Morton – for listening to my shame and still esteeming me worthy of friendship and trust.
Peter Craig – for requiring strength from me then making room for it.
Karen Matthews – for charismatic leadership and risky trust, which blew away all my fears of failing my first job.
Len Bennett – for absorbing the rage of an angry young man and still inviting me to belong.
Mrs Gentleman – for breathing life into my fragile ego by laughing when you should have been annoyed.
Mum and Dad – for enduring my teenage emotional distance and tolerating the lie that my dysfunction was their fault.
Mrs Reid – for hugging me rather than scolding me when I cried because I had snapped the blue crayon.
These were the best leaders I ever had because they were kind.