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November 3, 2015

The Best Quality of the Best Leaders

I pulled into the Tennessee Bun Company parking lot right after having spilled my hot coffee all over my console. I had stopped to get coffee at Panera, and the lid wasn’t on well. When I picked it up to...

The Best Quality of the Best Leaders

I pulled into the Tennessee Bun Company parking lot right after having spilled my hot coffee all over my console.

I had stopped to get coffee at Panera, and the lid wasn’t on well. When I picked it up to take a drink, it went everywhere, making a mess and burning my skin in the process. I used one of Carter’s burp cloths from the baby bag in the back to dry it up and tried to gather myself before walking into my meeting with Cordia Harrington. I was meeting Cordia to go through her interview for the Business Boutique this weekend, and she requested we meet at the Berry Hill Bun Company location here in Nashville.

Here’s what you need to know about Cordia. Cordia is the Founder and CEO of the Bun Companies, and is famously known as the “Bun Lady.” She has been named number 16 of Fast Company’s top 25 women business builders, Woman Business Owner of the Year, Executive of the Year, and most recently 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year, among many other accolades. She’s been featured in CBS News as well as many other national media outlets and was most recently featured in People magazine. To say she’s impressive is a vast understatement.

So I walked up to the entrance of the building, still trying to sip the spilled coffee off of the top of my lid. When I got to the top step, I saw something that stopped me in my tracks.

There was a sign and balloons welcoming me.

Me, y’all. ME.

This woman leads a $100 million national enterprise of over 500 team members that produces 5 million baked good a day! And when I arrived to her office, there were balloons and a sign welcoming me.

Like I was important. Like I mattered. Like I was somebody.

I tweeted a quote by Kid President last week that said, “Be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.”

That’s what Cordia did for me and that’s what all of the best leaders do. They make you feel like somebody.

In a world of selfies and being famous just for being famous, it’s easy to lose sight of the purpose of leadership. But the best leaders, the most famous leaders, the most accomplished leaders don’t bask in the spotlight for themselves. Instead they are mirrors, shining that light back onto every person that they meet. It’s like when John C. Maxwell asked me about life balance and took notes on my answer. It’s the true definition of servant leadership. Your calling as a leader is to ignite and inspire the calling in others. You’re lifted in order to lift. You’re blessed in order to bless.

Regardless of how God may advance you and I in our accomplishments in the future, I pray that we will always be somebody that makes everybody feel like a somebody.

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