The 12 Lessons of Leadership

Why do people leave their jobs?

  1. No one told me how to be successful at my job? – Lousy supervision
  2. No one trained me – I am not learning what I want.
  3. No one thanked me – I am not recognized for what I do.
  4. No one paid me – I don’t see the point of staying here.

 Why will people stay?

 Leading – How to become better by deciding where to go?

  • Values
  • Priorities
  • Measurable Objectives
  • Building our plans from the
  • “Customer back”
  • Organizational Structure
  • Task Direction
  • Reviewing our Progress

Educating – How to become better by growing and learning?

  • Learning
  • Job Challenge
  • Performance Planning
  • Change Management
  • Communications
  • Personal Development
  • Productivity through Knowledge
  • Knowledge through Training

AppreciatingRecognizing the contribution – How to become better by building our teams    

  • Recognition
  • Inclusion
  • Development Planning
  • Empowerment
  • Celebration
  • Rejuvenation
  • Teamwork

Dollarizing – The storehouse of values — Creating your employee’s R.O.I.  – How to become better by focusing on the results

  • Results and Achievement
  • Promotions
  • Increased Responsibility
  • Pride
  • Growth
  • Productivity
  • Satisfaction
  • Money

Leadership is getting people to do, what they otherwise would not want to do, but will readily do so anyway.


If you want your people to S.O.A.R. then

Management needs to L.E.A.D.
The 12 Lessons of Leadership

  • Leading – Leaders provide clear and understandable direction and support each and every time to every person with whom they deal.

 #1 – Decide where you want to go

#2 – Customer Back

#3 – Know your business

  • Educating – Leaders allow their people to grow and learn by developing a challenging and creative workplace. They communicate more rather than less.

#4 – Communicate your message clearly

#5 – Learn something new each day

#6 – Courage to tell the truth

  • Appreciating – Leaders need to appreciate and recognize people for the job they are doing; They say thank you for a job well done

#7 – Relationships not transactions

#8 – Passion and Enthusiasm

#9 – Discipline

  • Dollarizing – Leaders make sure that their people know they are accomplishing something important. Their people know it is worth the effort they are putting into the job. Dollars are the storehouse of value. Dollarizing puts a value on what we are accomplishing.

#10 – Do it now!

#11 – Persistence

#12 – The power of one person


The first lesson of Leadership

      Decide where you want to go

  1. It’s all about values
  2. Build a vision that embraces everyone
  3. Set goals that are stretch
  4. Set goals that are a realistic
  5. Write it down
  6. You treasure what you measure
  7. Plan, Do, Review

The second lesson of Leadership

          Customer Back

  1. Build your plans from the customer back, not from
    your internal capabilities out
  2. Think like a customer
  3. Intangibles drive the tangibles
  4. Hire the right people
    • We hire for skills, but fire for behaviors.
    • It is not only what you do but how you do it that drives success in the end.
  5. Find “athletes” and train them for success.

The third lesson of Leadership

          Know your business

  1. Be seen as knowledgeable – Know your KPIs
  2. Know your customers
  3. Know your employees
  4. Know your vendors
  5. Know your competition
  6. Know the technology
  7. Know your community
  8. Know yourself


The fourth lesson of Leadership

          Communicate your message clearly

  1. Teach people what they have to know – exactly;
    Tell them what, how, when… and why
  2. Master the art of listening
  3. Talk to people in terms they understand
  4. Communications is 100/100
  5. Whatever you speak out of your mouth, will happen


The fifth lesson of Leadership

          Learn something new each day

  1. Be a coach, not a dictator
  2. If you are not growing faster than the company, then you are holding the company back
  3. Innovate not just create
  4. The tyranny of the “OR” – the genius of the “AND”
  5. Have the courage to seek out advice


The sixth lesson of Leadership

          Courage to tell the truth

  1. Share all the information, not what you think they
    “need to know”
  2. Match your words with action
  3. Do what you say you will do
  4. Create an atmosphere of trust
  5. Be an example of how to do it right

The seventh lesson of Leadership

          Relationships not transactions

  1. Build personal relationships
  2. Create a team
  3. Win-Win… or no deal
  4. Create a dynamic personal network
  5. Recognize and appreciate
  6. Say thank you

The eighth lesson of Leadership


  1. Give everything you’ve got to everything you do
  2. Passion + Purpose = Power
  3. The principle of investment: Give AND Take
  4. The will to win
  5. Have fun

The ninth lesson of Leadership


  1. Do what needs to be done, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not
  2. Get rid of what you don’t want to make room for what you do want
  3. Work on the important, not the urgent
  4. It’s all about managing time

The tenth lesson of Leadership


  1. I will … until
  2. Infinite patience… Enduring persistence
  3. Never give up
  4. Persistence will do, what talent will not


The eleventh lesson of Leadership

          Do it now!

  1. Prepare a plan for action
  2. Build a culture of execution
  3. Focus on getting results
  4. Be known as the person others count on to get it done no matter what
  5. Speed is the ultimate competitive advantage

The twelfth lesson of Leadership

          The power of one person

  1. Empowerment is not abdication
  2. Delegate for results
    • Define the responsibility
    • Establish the right authority level
    • Hold people accountable
  3. Never accept the “baton” back
  4. Be the leader. Manage only what’s necessary.
  5. Show love, not arrogance.
  6. Show your people how to S.O.A.R.©

Leadership Summary

Leadership is getting people to do what they may not want to do but will readily do so anyway.  

If you believe you can or you think you can’t, in either case you’re right.

Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe, and enthusiastically act upon, must inevitably come to be.

If you want your people to S.O.A.R.©, management needs to L.E.A.D.

There are 18 Critical Behaviors that define the characteristics of a great leader and manager.

The Language of Respect

Respect is an assumption of good faith and competence in another person or in the whole of oneself. Depth of integrity, trust, complementary moral values and skill are necessary components.


Respect adds general reliability to social interactions. It enables people to work together in a complimentary fashion, instead of each person having to have perfect understanding or even agree with each other every time.


Respect is vital to an organization because people must demonstrate respect to effectively work with others and achieve great results.



  1. COMMUNICATIONS Listens to others:
  • Teach them how to listen to the person who is talking to them.
  • Teach them to pay attention to non-verbal behaviors
  • Engages in active listening.


When you speak the language of respect you truly listen without interrupting and strive to understand what they are saying.


  • Solicits ideas, suggestions and opinions from others;
  • Creates a comfortable climate for airing concerns;
  • Listens to all points of view with an open mind;
  • Listens carefully without interrupting;
  • Summarizes input, then checks for understanding



  1. COMMUNICATIONS Process information accurately:
  • Teach them how to figure out what is important and what to work on first
  • Understand the differences in the perceptions between you and others.
  • Understand the impact and consequences on you and others of the information you have gathered.

When you speak the language of respect you gather all the facts and feelings you can before reaching a judgment and making a decision.   


  • Identifies the core element of an issue;
  • Considers the pros and cons, as well as short and
    long range consequences of decisions;
  • Arrives at logical clear conclusions
  1. COMMUNICATIONS Communicates effectively:
  • Teach them how to talk to people in terms the listener will understand
  • Communications is 100/100

When you speak the language of respect you are focused more about how you say it than what you say. Whatever you speak out of your mouth, will happen. So don’t say something nasty, rude, mean or insulting.


  • Expresses thoughts clearly in writing;
  • Is an effective articulate speaker;
  • Covers an issue thoroughly without overdoing it;
  • Communicates in a straightforward manner, even when dealing with sensitive topics;
  • Makes current job-related information readily available to others


  1. LEADERSHIP Instills trust:
  • Teach them how to share all the information, not what they think
    their people “need to know”
  • Teach them how to be an example of how to do it right
  • Give people the benefits of the doubt
  • Ask for help.
  • Accept questions and input

     You speak the language of respect when you do what you say you will do.  


  • Keeps promises;
  • Person can be trusted with confidential information;
  • Is honest in dealing with others;
  • Demonstrates high ethical standards


  1. LEADERSHIP Provides direction
  • Teach them how to plan, organize, and deliver on a project.
  • Where am I going?
  • How will I get there?
  • How will I know I’ve arrived?
  • Create S.M.A.R.T. goals: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Timed.When you speak thelanguage of respect everyone knows what to do, how to do
    it, and how to measure their progress.  No assumptions allowed.


  • Makes expectations clear;
  • Establishes a manageable workload;
  • Accomplishes long term objectives by planning and taking the necessary steps;
  • Keeps focus on big picture while implementing details
  1. LEADERSHIP Delegates responsibility:
  • Teach them how to delegate for results

* Define the responsibility

* Establish the authority

  • Do it, don’t tell me
  • Do it, tell me after – keep me informed of your progress
  • You are not authorized to go further until you consult with me first

* Hold each person accountable

* Delegation is not abdication


The language of respect means … “The baton does not come back.”
Good delegation considers the impact and the consequences on yourself as
well as others.


  • Knows when to delegate and when to take personal responsibility;
  • Delegates the right jobs to the right people;
  • Gives others authority to independently fulfill responsibilities;
  • Empowers others to find creative solutions to problems


  1. ADAPTABILITY Adjusts to circumstances:
  • Murphy’s Law is true.
  • Everyone makes mistakes. Teach them how to respond to the mistakes and learn from them.
  • Don’t compromise your integrity, but rather find a “third solution.”

When you speak the language of respect you are positive, ready for the challenge
ahead and you don’t “kick the cat”.


  • Is flexible in dealing with people with diverse work styles;
  • Is comfortable in a variety of environments;
  • Reacts constructively to setbacks;
  • Anticipates and plans for changing situations


  1. ADAPTABILITY Thinks creatively:
  • Teach them to find new patterns to do it faster and better.
  • Teach them to find multiple ways of doing things right.
    Innovation is creativity implemented.


The language of respect understands that creative change is difficult.
It acknowledges the stress, anxiety, pressure and disruption.

  • Approaches job with imagination and originality;
  • Inspires innovation in the organization;
  • Is willing to take bold, calculated risks;
  • Views obstacles as opportunities for creative change
  1. RELATIONSHIPS Builds personal relationships:
  • It’s all about the people.
  • Teach them to be careful about labels.
  • Teach them how to create good relationships without force
  • Seek first to understand before you seek to be understood

The language of respect makes every facet of a relationship personal.

  • Shows consideration for the feelings of others;
  • Shows absence of prejudicial and stereotypic thinking in words and actions;
  • Delivers criticism tactfully and constructively;
  • Maintains composure in high-pressure situations
  1. RELATIONSHIPS Facilitates team success:
  • TEAM – Together Everyone Achieves More
  • Teach them how to use all the resources available
  • Teach how to create a team spirit
  • Involve everyone in idea sharing
  • Create healthy debate to solve real problems quickly


When you speak the language of respect you include both consequences for your
actions and fairness in your implementation.


  • Resolves conflicts fairly;
  • Creates an atmosphere of team cooperation over competition;
  • Builds consensus on decisions;
  • Leads team in formulating goals that complement the organization’s mission;
  • Brings capable people into the group;
  • Uses the diverse talents and experiences of the group to maximum advantage


  1. TASK MANAGEMENT Works efficiently:
  • Speed is the ultimate competitive advantage
  • Teach them how to implement the appropriate shortcuts

When you speak the language of respect you are becoming proficient in
each of your tasks and behaviors.


  • Applies current technology in practical ways to maximize efficiency;
  • Makes wise use of outside resources;
  • Avoids procrastination;
  • Sets priorities and tackles assignments accordingly


  1. TASK MANAGEMENT Works competently:
  • Teach them that knowledge itself is power

They must be seen as knowledgeable; Know the customers; Know the employees; Know the vendors; Know the competition; Know the technology; Know the community; Ultimately: Know who you are.

  • Teach them to seek wisdom – the application of knowledge in the real world.

You speak the language of respect when you know yourself.


  • Demonstrates mastery of fundamentals necessary to the job;
  • Is skilled at learning and applying new information quickly;
  • Integrates new theories, trends, and methods into appropriate business operations


  1. PRODUCTION Takes action: 
  • The tyranny of the “OR
  • The genius of the “AND
  • Never confuse movement with action
  • Teach them how to remove the speed bumps


You speak the language of respect when you are known as a person others can
count on to get it done no matter what.  


  • Knows when to stop planning and start implementing;
  • Takes the initiative to make things happen;
  • Is assertive in managing problems;
  • Makes timely, clear-cut firm decisions
  1. PRODUCTION Achieves results:
  • Teach how to raise the bar high and still achieve the goal
  • Teach how to figure out why it is not getting done – skill / resource /
    motivation deficit
  • Integrate team goals with individual goals.
  • Understands the difference between a prudent risk and an unreasonable gamble.
  • Takes personal responsibility for the tasks you are assigned.

When you speak the language of respect you are focused on achieving results
and doing it now!


  • Overcomes obstacles to complete projects successfully;
  • Effects outcomes that set high standards for others;
  • Achieves results that have a positive impact on the organization as a whole


  1. DEVELOPMENT OF OTHERS Cultivates individual talents:
  • Teach them how to be a coach
  • Teach them how to conduct a Performance and Development Plan
  • Teach them how to give feedback regularly


You speak the language of respect when you make someone better than they
were before you began.


  • Is patient, helpful, effective coach;
  • Gives others access to training for skill development and professional growth;
  • Provides objective appraisals of others strengths and needs;
  • Maintains a timely schedule for performance discussions and follow ups



  1. DEVELOPMENT OF OTHERS Motivates successfully:
  • Stamp out ANTS (automatic negative thoughts)
  • Teach them to encourage others by giving recognition and appreciation
  • Find people doing something right and reward their achievements.You speak the language of respect when you say thank you.


  • Gives recognition to producers of high quality work;
  • Shows appreciation when others give extra effort;
  • Shares a contagious enthusiasm that promotes a positive attitude in others



  1. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Displays commitment:
  • Teach them to give everything they’ve got to everything they do.
  • Teach them to have infinite patience and enduring persistence
  • Get commitment with clarity and buy-in

The language of respect demonstrates loyalty and honor towards themselves
and others.


  • Maintains a consistently high energy level;
  • Persists and perseveres;
  • Keeps a positive outlook



  1. PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT Seeks improvement:
  • Teach them to pull the weeds
  • Teach them it’s OK to ask for help
  • Teach them to get rid of what you don’t want to make room for what you do want.
  • It takes great courage is tackle the changes we must make in ourselves

The language of respect demonstrates that we learn something new each day.


  • Admits mistakes and learns from them;
  • Handles negative critiques constructively;
  • Identifies and pursues resources needed to improve

These messages keep employees at peak motivation

Communicate these simple messages to help your workforce rediscover their motivation for work

Posted: October 23, 2014


Busy managers sometimes forget that their employees want to enjoy their jobs, not just collect a paycheck. And employees themselves can lose sight of what they’re really looking for in a career as they scramble to get their assignments done. Communicate these simple messages to help your workforce rediscover their motivation for work:

• Their strengths matter. Give assignments that make use of their most important skills. Work with them to find ways to make the most of their talents and experience, and they’ll be more satisfied with their jobs.

• Goals should challenge. Set goals that stretch employees’ skills, giving them the chance to learn and grow professionally. Be realistic so workers don’t feel overwhelmed. Use the SMART formula: Collaborate on goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-centered.

• Their opinions are important. Make a better effort to listen to employees’ ideas, opinions, and concerns. Lots of employees don’t think their managers pay enough attention to what they have to say; prove them wrong by asking what they think and acting on their insights.

• Creativity counts. Encourage innovation and imagination in your workforce. Let them put their ideas into action, at least as pilot projects. Keep asking what they could do to cut costs, improve customer service, or create new products, and give them the resources they need to try new things.

• Their victories rock. Celebrate employee success. A major achievement could justify a party, but even minor accomplishments deserve recognition. Tell employees you appreciate their work. And don’t limit yourself to successes—thank them for their strong efforts even when they fail.

—Adapted from the Entrepreneur website



Principles of proper delegation

  1. Establish the responsibility
    • Make sure it has a proper description of both the tasks required and the behaviors needed to do the project or job successfully.
  2. Establish the appropriate authority level
    • 1st level is “Do it. Don’t tell me.
      1. For example, “You can spend under $50 and, as long as you remain within your total budget level, you do not need to tell me you spent the money.”
    • 2nd level is “Do it. Tell me after you spend it.
      1. For example, “You can spend between $51 and $100 but I want you to let me know you spent the money.”
    • 3rd level is “You are not authorized to make that decision until you consult with me first.”
      1. For example, “If you want to spend more than $101 dollars you must come to me, outline the amount you want to spend; what you want to spend it on; and why it is important to spend the money now.”
  1. Once you have done steps one and two and it is clear to everyone, then you can hold that person accountable for their results.

One of the big problems with many managerial / employee conflicts is that someone is given the responsibility for doing something, held accountable for the achievement, but they never know whether they can proceed on their own or have to constantly check in for permission. When they proceed, they are told they should have checked in. When they hesitate, they are told they should have moved faster and gotten things done.  The parameters have not been properly set at the beginning and so only “20/20” hindsight provides the answer and then it is too late.  It leads to frustration and dysfunction throughout the organization.

One-Minute Ideas

Use this trick to avoid casual dress code missteps

Yikes! What is that person wearing? If your employees have taken casual attire to the extreme, try this tip an employee shared with Motivational Manager: Create your own style guide of what not to wear. Ask for volunteers to participate in a photo shoot wearing all the office no-nos—torn jeans, short shorts, halter tops, flip-flops. Copy the photos onto posters, flyers, or into a booklet—complete with the black bars fashion magazines use to conceal the faces of the style-challenged—and distribute them to the staff.

Bring employees to the ‘table of satisfaction’

Diane Marinacci manages 10 workers in her division of the General Services Administration. And according to the Gallup Organization’s “employee engagement survey,” those are 10 happy workers. Why? Marinacci credits her roundtable. Each morning, her employees meet at the table to talk about their caseloads, and they gather at the table when there’s an important issue to discuss. “More work is done at that roundtable during the day than could ever
happen in a cubicle,” she says. “I tell my friends, if you’re a boss, you need to get a round table.”
—Adapted from “Their best friend at work,” by Jennifer Robison, in the Gallup Management Journal

Go on the offensive for tech recruits

Having trouble attracting talented IT workers? Try going on the offensive—to your local bookstore. One New Jersey recruiter periodically stops by the software aisle at her local bookstore armed with a stack of business cards. She distributes the cards to the young tech enthusiasts who come in to flip through the latest manuals—and even hides some of her cards in the pages of the most popular books.
—Adapted from Finding & Keeping Great Employees, by Jim Harris and Joan Brannick (AMACOM)

Focus on fit with this hiring tactic

Taking a thorough tour of the facility is a staple of the new-employee orientation. But Doug Player, a New Jersey distribution center operations manager, suggests hirers take job candidates on a tour of the facility before making a final decision. “We cannot underestimate the value of walking through our facility with a potential staffer,” Player says, “and the dialogue—both spoken and unspoken—that ensues when they see where they will be spending their workday.”
—Adapted from “Make a sure bet on the right people,” by Sara Pearson Specter, in Modern Materials Handling

Pitch in to help workers

If teaming up for charity builds camaraderie, think how satisfying it would be to help one of your own. Paul and Sharon Algee never told coworkers at North Carolina’s Riverboat Landing Restaurant that they needed help paying for their daughter’s rehabilitation after a car crash. But seeing their predicament, their bosses organized a benefit dinner on their behalf. Management donated the evening’s profits, employees donated their tips, and even former employees came back to help. When you see employees in difficult circumstances, don’t wait to be asked—pitch in.
d from “Restaurant comes to aid of employee’s sick child,” by Rachel Wimberly, in the Star-News(Wilmington, N.C.)

Manage mergers by buddying up

If your organization is facing a merger, help employees cope by adopting the strategy Wal-Mart used when the company purchased the British supermarket chain Asda. Executives helped Asda managers and supervisors adapt to the Wal-Mart culture by using the buddy system and pairing them with a Wal-Mart colleague. The buddies were encouraged to share ideas and discuss concerns, which helped them manage change through the crucial transition period.
—Adapted from “Putting a smile on staff faces at Asda,” in the Daily Express (London)

Beat stress with a breakroom makeover

Things can get stressful at a call center—which is one reason for the industry’s high turnover. But the Australian firm SalesForce is always looking for new ways to help its staff break the tension. Recently, the company imitated the British television series Changing Rooms (and its American counterpart Trading Spaces) by challenging employees to redecorate staff lounges. Teams were given a budget and eight weeks to complete their projects. The winners received prizes—and SalesForce added to its stature as one of the country’s top places to work.
—Adapted from “To succeed, make the first call to the staff,” by Wendy Taylor, in The Age (Melbourne, Australia)

Push on when brainstorming

Remember your last brainstorming session? No doubt you reached a point where the flood of ideas became a trickle, then seemed to dry up altogether. And the session came to a stop. Big mistake. Instead of taking the first lull as a signal to stop, press on. When they’ve run out of logical ideas, people will start offering wild suggestions—which may prove to be the seeds of your most creative projects.
—Adapted from Ignite Your Creative Spark, by Jordan Ayan (Successories)

You get what you reward

What’s more important—launching new initiatives or launching successful initiatives? If you said the latter, then you have to build accountability into your incentive programs. In 2000, Procter & Gamble suddenly realized morale was in ruins and core products were losing market share. Among the problems cited by employee surveys was a policy of rewarding and promoting marketing employees based on the number of initiatives they launched with no thought for long-term results. And because job tenure averaged two years, employees knew they could launch an initiative, then leave the worries to their successor. Thanks to those findings, P&G now keeps marketers in their posts for three to four years and focuses on two-year rather than quarterly results.
—Adapted from “Listening begins at home,” in the Harvard Business Review

Careless comments can be costly

Admit it—there are some crazy people on your staff. But here’s some sane advice: Keep your opinions about their mental health to yourself. Recently the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated a disability discrimination claim because the employee had evidence her supervisors considered her disabled. The evidence: workplace gossip. The problem started when one employee falsely reported that another was suicidal. As rumors of instability escalated, the talked-about employee incurred disciplinary action, sought counseling for stress, and took a disability leave. Her supervisors refused to accommodate her request for a reduced schedule and soon fired her. The court agreed the employee did not meet the ADA’s definition of disabled. However, under the ADA an employee is still considered disabled if it can be shown that the employer believes an impairment exists. In this case, the rumor mill provided ample proof of that.
—Adapted from “But we thought she was crazy!” in the Wyoming Employment Law Letter

How to keep your staff up-to-date on business trends

Inspire employees to keep up with the latest business trends and beef up their presentation skills by following this advice from a New Jersey public relations firm: Ask for volunteers to read business books then present oral reports to their coworkers during your weekly staff meetings. The PR firm lets workers select the titles they’d like to read, then pays for the books.
—Adapted from 1001 Ways to Energize Employees, by Bob Nelson (Workman)

Boost productivity and job satisfaction with this tactic

Some employees do their best work in the morning, while others are more productive in the afternoon. So, if your operations allow, take advantage of internal body clocks with staggered start times. Rather than requiring everyone to come in at 8 a.m. and leave at 5 p.m., give workers the option of working 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., or 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. A little flexibil-ity can cut down on absenteeism and ensure that people are working during their personal peak hours.
—Adapted from the Birmingham Times (Birmingham, Ala.)

Brace yourself for termination anxiety

It’s natural to expect an emotional fallout when an employee is terminated. But dismissed workers don’t hold the monopoly on separation anxiety. Terminations are also difficult for managers who must deliver the bad news. If you’re contemplating a termination or layoff, list the reasons behind the decision to reassure yourself that this course is appropriate. Then consider the possible reactions of the employee—shock, anger, fear—and determine how you’ll react to any given scenario. If you’re well prepared to handle the employee’s emotions, you’ll be better able to handle your own.
—Adapted from “Successful termination: Is there such a concept?” by John Withenshaw, in Canadian Manager

Comprehensive training boosts retention

One thing management at Hy-Vee, an Iowa-based grocery chain, could count on: As soon as they graduated, college-age employees would leave for a “real job.” But two years ago, the chain launched a program to stem turnover and groom future managers from within—the Hy-Vee University Graduate Degree program, Twice each year, 10–15 students enroll in the year-and-a-half phased training program. Trainees begin by spending time in the corporate office learning about a specific department. Then they complete workbook projects and make field trips to area stores. Finally, they spend a few months interning in the recently studied department. Comprehensive training focused on each department gives workers an all-encompassing perspective that inspires long-term career ambitions. And according to Hy-Vee executives, retention among its university grads is about 90 percent.
—Adapted from “Help wanted: How to reduce employee turnover,” by Rebecca Zimoch, in Grocery Headquarters

Give employees a helping hand

What better to give workers than a piece of yourself? In this case, your helping hand. At one company, a manager annually gives every employee on his staff a paper silhouette of his hand, which represents one hour of his time to use any way they want. They can ask for work-related help—taking over the switchboard or delivering the mail—or even call on the boss for baby-sitting, dog-walking, or lawn-mowing duty.
—Adapted from CARE Packages for the Workplace, by Barbara A. Glanz (McGraw-Hill)

Enjoy a blast from the past

Some managers have found a way to make themselves less intimidating to employees: geek photos. Dig out your school photos or yearbook and grace your office wall with an unflattering pose that will make you seem more human to your staff—and might boost your ego as well. Says one CEO: “Whenever I’m feeling down about my work, I just take a good look at that dork up on the wall and I think to myself, ‘You’ve come a long way, baby! Don’t stop now!’”
—Adapted from Managing to Have Fun, by Matt Weinstein (Simon & Schuster)

Help workers understand their purpose

If you haven’t thought about job descriptions since your last new hire, your employees probably haven’t given them much thought either. Meet individually with workers to discuss their responsibilities and the tasks they do each day. Then craft an appropriate job description for each position. Give each employee a copy of his or her description and keep copies in your files so you can refer to them as needed. Update the descriptions at least once a year and invite workers to suggest changes as their duties evolve.
—Adapted from “Happy employees bring big profits,” by Harvey Goldglantz, in Pest Control

Five keys to workers’ self-esteem

Self-esteem isn’t just the stuff of daytime talk shows. It’s also the stuff that can determine a worker’s degree of productivity. Researchers have identified three types of self-esteem:

1. Global self-esteem is how significant and worthy people feel based on their life experiences.

2. Task-based self-esteem is the confidence people have in their ability to perform specific tasks.

3. Organization-based self-esteem is how valuable people feel they are to their organization and coworkers.

Individuals with high self-esteem have confidence in their overall worth, their ability to succeed, and their value to those around them. For those with low self-esteem, the opposite is true. Fortunately, low self-esteem isn’t carved in stone. By boosting an employee’s organizational self-esteem, you can have a positive impact on the other forms of self-esteem, and in turn, motivate better performance. Focus on these conditions:

Caring supervisors. Support and respect from the boss are crucial to developing organizational self-esteem. Ask employees about their needs, be available to listen to their concerns, seek their input on projects, demonstrate respect for their abilities—and coach supervisors to do the same. When doling out rewards or promotions, be sure to draw a link to the recipient’s contribution to the organization.

Empowering organizations. Eliminate restrictive rules that keep employees from using their own discretion in problem-solving. Encourage workers to take the initiative without requiring multiple authorizations. Inflexibility sends a silent message that you don’t value workers’ abilities or trust them to think for themselves.

Fulfilling work. Just because some employees must perform repetitive, mundane tasks, it doesn’t mean you can’t make the work enriching. Devise ways for workers to stretch themselves by, say, besting their personal records. Invite them to suggest new projects and procedures. Offer educational or cross-training opportunities, or organize after-hours volunteer work that will help them feel fulfilled and connected to the organization.

Necessary resources. No matter how much you tell workers they’re valued, they’ll have a hard time believing it if you don’t invest in adequate equipment and resources. If you must be frugal, invite employees to participate in the budget process so they’ll understand that a lack of funding doesn’t reflect a lack of confidence in them.

Supportive coworkers. Rather than giving lip service to teamwork, promote true camaraderie. Being held in high esteem by their coworkers is one way workers can develop high esteem for themselves.
—Adapted from “A neglected supervisory role: Building self-esteem,” by J. Newstrom, D. Gardner, and J. Pierce, in Supervision

Don’t just be a boss—be a leader: 4 easy steps.

One important way to judge your success as a manager is by the success of your employees.

The best managers aren’t just the ones who can extract the most productivity from their people, but the ones who produce great future managers.

They’re the ones who demonstrate true Executive Leadership

How can you be sure that your best people will someday be top-notch leaders themselves? Start with the following basic yet effective tips for developing managerial skills among your employees.

  1. Emphasize Communication

These days, quicker, more convenient forms of communication, like e-mail, have taken the place of quality face time. However, if you really want to know how your employees feel about you, the company, and their jobs, take the time to sit with them and have actual conversations.

Facial expressions, tone of voice and body language (things you can’t see in an e-mail) will tell you just as much about an employee’s state of mind as his or her words (perhaps even more). Learning what each employee wants to get out of his or her job will help you determine who has the makings of a good manager and who still may need some guidance.

Another surefire way to help employees advance their careers is by telling them exactly what they need to do to get ahead. Be clear about their responsibilities and explain how these responsibilities will contribute to the overall company’s success. Also, keep employees in the loop about what you think of their performance—good or bad.

  1. Motivate by Example

The easiest way to show your people how to be a good manager is not by shipping them off to a seminar; it’s by being a good manager yourself.

That starts with your attitude. Stay positive about your company and your team’s role in its success. Provide encouragement and inspire your people to do their best work.

If you are charismatic and motivating, your team will produce more for you in the short term and will emulate your techniques once they are put in a position of greater authority.

Also, give your people the same amount of respect you give your boss. Managers who place themselves on a pedestal above their teams and demand respect will likely experience the opposite effect.

Remain humble and give credit to your team when it’s due. If you treat your employees like your teammates, they are more apt to come together as a team.

Leadership means standing out from the pack.



  1. Plan their developmentAn effective career development plan is essential to help your people hone their skills and advance their careers. This can involve a departmental mentoring/training program, but keep in mind that one-on-one coaching, if feasible, is the most effective.

    A strong career development plan not only makes it easier to promote from within your organization but also helps you retain your top people. Follow up with employees and ask for their feedback on the development plan and mentoring.

    4. Final step: promotion

Once you have provided your people with the training and tools they need to succeed, step aside and let them go to work.

Don’t be afraid to see your employees succeed; remember you are all on the same team. Plus, their success reflects positively on you, and their advancement marks another opportunity for you to mentor the next group of future leaders.

If you are secure that you have prepared your employees to take the next step, why wait? Start by giving them additional responsibilities or asking for their input on important matters. Invite them to join special project teams or planning sessions, or find reasons for them to make presentations at higher-level staff meetings to senior executives.

If you give your employees more accountability and they respond favorably, continue to encourage them to take risks and stretch beyond their current capabilities.

Remember, good employees don’t need to be told all the details about how to do something—they can do the jobs themselves. Simply lay the groundwork, set the deadlines, and express the desired results.

If you show confidence in them, they’ll develop confidence in themselves and their decisions—an important trait of a good manager.


Accountability process – agreed to by the leadership group – something occurs where one member of the leadership team does not fulfill their commitment.

  • The commitment must be specific.
  • It must have a day, date and time that both parties have agreed to.
  • One of the parties has not fulfilled their mutually agreed-to commitment.

In that case, this is the process we agreed to follow.

  1. Discuss with the person individually.
    • Share what you feel are the facts and your feelings
    • Actively listen to what they have to say; allowing them to complete their thoughts without interruption.
    • Permit them the opportunity to correct the situation without penalty; in essence to agree on a new action plan on their part and your part
    • If they do not correct the situation and do not meet the new mutually agreed-to commitment, THEN
  2. Bring the topic up to the leadership team
    • Be sure you inform the other person that you plan to bring up the disagreement to the leadership team; allowing them time to prepare. It is not fair or acceptable to set an “ambush” at a meeting.
    • Each person presents their side without interrupting the other. The group will review the circumstances of the situation
    • Come to another mutually agreed commitment with day, date, and time specific
    • Allow the person to correct the situation
  3. Go the “Doctor – or the person who can resolve the issue (could be John)
    • The person makes the change that was decided and needs to immediately meet their new commitment.
  4. We should all assume the good intentions of the people on our leadership team. You should work to understand the situation they face; discover the new facts and information that may have led the person to a different or changed conclusion.  Do not assume the other person is lying. To lie is to deliberately and intentionally tell a falsehood with the purpose of hurting or deceiving another person. Are you absolutely sure you have ALL the facts or only the facts that you know today?
  5. No ambushing your team mate on the leadership team; No blind-siding.