For me, one of the greatest rewards working with companies is seeing their people thrive and shine when taking them through my “Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace” Leadership Workshop Series. This story however is about the person who supports me on a daily basis. Her name is Charmine Bunker. But no one who knows her calls her Charmine. She prefers to go by Rosebud.
Rosebud has been working with me for the past few years. Her actual title is hard to describe as one doesn’t necessarily do it justice. She is my Director of Marketing. She is my Assistant. As I said, she works with me, not for me. She is my right hand (and I actually am left handed). She does for me all of the things that I either don’t do well or the things that don’t let me focus on what I do well.
Honoring my philosophy of “Creating an Entrepreneurial Workplace” over the past few years, she has taken on more and more and truly owns the piece of the business she runs for me. She has embraced that ownership and empowerment and has definitely made my life easier to focus on speaking, consulting and my other business ventures.
One example is my website, www.michaeljlevin.com. Rosebud had built some fairly simple sites but nothing like this one. I asked her about two years ago if she’d like to try building it or hire someone and manage them. She decided she wanted to give it a shot. I think you’d have to agree she did an outstanding job of building my site.
One of the challenges when you are keynote speaking and consulting is finding time to market. She has taken the ownership to run that piece of my business. She not only manages the websites but all of my marketing campaigns, my website SEO, databases, event marketing and provides additional day to day support as I need. She has done an unbelievable job. She manages me on this part of my business and lets me know what she needs from me. Which is exactly what I want since she owns this piece of my business. That is one of the core concepts in an Entrepreneurial Workplace.
Now there is one thing I haven’t told you about Rosebud yet. She has cerebral palsy. If you met her in person and she was seated, talked to her over the phone or are in E-Mail communication, you’d never know. And to her credit, she never uses it as an excuse. She said she wasn’t raised that way and she’d never allow it to be an excuse.
Unlike so many people, who find any reason to be a victim, she never allows herself to be one. She went through a couple of very challenging and painful surgeries recently to help her walk better and not only didn’t she complain, she worked hard through her therapy and continued to support me and others while going through a very lengthy recuperation.
I was very fortunate to meet Rosebud as she is the sister of a former employee of mine. My partner and I sold that business and her sister introduced me to Rosebud when I told her I was looking for someone to provide me marketing support.
To me Rosebud is a great example of someone, when given an opportunity, absolutely shines. All I had to do was get out of her way. That is the case for many leaders if they can do the same for their people. Instead of micromanaging and telling them what to do, just get out of their way. Give them a chance to shine and show what they can do.
For many employees it will be challenging to be open to being a leader and feeling empowered, to lead positive change, to feel like an entrepreneur and be willing to take ownership. I was very fortunate with Rosebud. She embraced taking on a leadership role from the beginning. She embraced learning new things, trying something and, if it didn’t work, making adjustments. Knowing success only comes through steps forward and backward and learning from the missteps.
Rosebud is definitely a hero to me. If I’m feeling down, I think about her and how she never allows herself to be a victim. I hope each of you find your Rosebud’s and let them shine. You will find it not only inspiring but heartwarming as well.