Leadership and Business Culture



"The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." -- Ronald Reagan


I just love this quote. It hits the definition of leadership squarely on the head for me. It begs me to ask the following three questions:

  • Are you willing to do what you ask of your people?

  • Would you stand shoulder to shoulder with them pitching in wherever and whenever needed?

  • Do you walk the walk and not just talk the talk?

If you can answer yes to these questions, then I would consider you a good leader. Good leadership is being willing to lead by example. This type of leadership is what drives a culture that is rewarding and appreciative. As a reminder, “79% of people that leave their jobs do so because they feel unappreciated”. I come back to this stat for two reasons. First, it’s a staggering fact that bears repeating, and second, it is one of the keys to creating a positive business culture.

Good leaders TELL their people when they do a good job. Bad leaders, on the other hand, expect people to just know they did a good job and are annoyed that they have to tell them. As I’ve told several CEOs and business owners over the years, if you want better results, start at the top. A little appreciation goes a long way.


Why do people need to be appreciated?

  • They want to feel valued

  • It shows that leadership/others see them

  • It shows them that they are liked

  • It helps them feel connected

  • It gives them a sense of meaning and purpose for what they are doing

So why are leadership and a good culture important? Positive leadership and a positive company culture develop peoples’ respect while affirming quality work every day. It encourages collaboration, feedback, and input. It’s important that the leadership supports the decision-making of their people, allowing them to take on projects without constantly hovering, correcting, or being controlling in situations. Don’t paralyze or circumscribe your people, it only hurts your business in the long run.


Our whole goal is to grow you as a leader, making sure you are walking the walk, supporting your team, giving them the support, acknowledgment, and abilities, they need to be successful. When they are successful, the business will be successful. By the way, it’s ok to let them try things their way, there are a couple of potential outcomes. First, it works out great and you may even find a new way to do things, don’t ever work in a bubble. Second, they trip a bit, it didn’t quite work out the way you or they wanted. That’s ok, small tweaks for the next time. Of course, the last scenario is that it blows up and is a complete failure. Again, that’s ok, as long as it doesn’t impact your business or reputation, this is a learning time. I’m reminded of a quote from the movie ‘Rocky Balboa’ where he’s talking to his son, and he says “The world ain't all sunshine and rainbows. It is a very mean and nasty place, and it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't how hard you hit; it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.”. When one of your people gets hit by life, whether at home or at work, help them get up and keep moving forward. Remember when they grow, you grow.


I like to tell the story of one of my earlier internet tech businesses, we set up a culture that acknowledged our employees for their efforts. Once a quarter we would do an event for them to say thank you. At one of those events while we were thanking them both individually and as a team, I asked the question, how many of you have worked a 40-hour workday for us? Someone said do you mean a 40-hour workweek? I said no, a 40-hour workday. Out of the 23 people that were there, 12 of them raised their hands. Confused, the person then said, I don’t understand, what does that mean? I responded that they came in on a Monday and didn’t go home until Wednesday when I had to send them home. Why did they work so many hours you might ask? The answer was simple, they loved what they did, they felt empowered and most importantly they felt a sense of responsibility to make sure that what they were doing was the best it could be. Now I want to be clear, I don’t advocate 40-hour workdays. In case you were wondering, yes they did sleep while they were there, we had a whole room of couches, over-stuffed chairs, video games, pool table, movies, etc., whatever they needed to take time to check out as needed. I use it as an illustration that when the leadership is supportive and the culture is rewarding, people will surprise you by going above and beyond without being asked. When someone feels appreciated, they will go the extra mile to help the company and that leads to a growing and successful business.

Remember, you can do it alone, but it's always better to let someone help.

Jeff


If you would like to know more about Pull the Chute, please feel free to reach out. You can email me at jeff@pullthechute.net or call my cell 615-572-9500, I look forward to hearing from you.


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