“Leadership is about inspiration-of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership…is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others.”-
In his new book Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek says leaders must sacrifice for their people. They must be willing to put the needs of others before their own needs. It’s a choice: to look after the person on either side of us.
What Leaders Must Sacrifice:
Hire good people, trust your people, and check progress when appropriate. Having authority over their work is a key indicator for employee happiness. Give it to them and praise them when they’ve done well. Demonstrate your confidence in them.
• Self-Interest and Ego
Get in the trenches and work with your people at all levels. I read a story about a CEO who had succcessfully grown the business, and while it was doing well, sales had plateaued. He was advised to go down on the factory floor every week and spend time with his people, getting to know them. In six months, his profits took off because his people knew that he cared. They delivered better, faster service and higher quality. People respond when you know you care about them.
• Saving Face at the Expense of Your People
If you don’t back your people up when they are in crisis or conflict with vendors, clients, etc., then you send a very clear message of fear and mistrust. When you say you will support your people in difficult times and then fail to, your employees feel betrayed and abandoned. They will resent you and become cynical and fearful. None of that leads to high performance.
• Looking Good to Stockholders
At Next Jump in NY, CEO Charlie Kim spends significant money developing people- on training programs and mentoring- much to the chagrin of his investors. However, the results proved themselves and delighted stockholders. Many firms in this industry have double digit turnover rates, which can cost millions to replace. (Industry averages 150% of a person’s salary to replace them.) Because of the investment Charlie makes in his people, turnover is low single digit, and the quality of innovation, problem-solving capability, loyalty and engagement at the company have soared.
Keep expanding your capability as a leader! You will inspire others.
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