You’re Doing It Wrong: Leadership

I am constantly trying to improve my understanding of business, life and people.  I have been getting into TED talks as of late.  Hearing what brilliant minds are thinking, studying and observing has been helping me better define what I think, say and do.  I just ran across Simon Sinek, talking about leadership.

I have numerous examples of the reverse of what Simon is saying.  I have been in business after organization after corporation where people are being told what to do and how to do it.  Almost without exception, they are not happy in their jobs.  They are not motivated to work together, help their clients, or even just do their own job.  The only exception occurs when I meet someone who has their own internal motivation for being there.

I have been in a few businesses where when people ask why, they are told.  I have been in even less where people don’t even have to ask.  In those organizations, I see record productivity, minimal turnover and mind-numbing innovation.  I see huge customer satisfaction and record profits.

The first obstacle to this occurring is anyone in the organization actually knowing why they are there.  To make money is never the real answer.  But if they know the answer, my word do they make money.

Let me give you an example: Dale Carnegie (or rather my personal why for Dale Carnegie).  I exist to make the workplace a place that people want to be at.  Whether those are leaders, employees or customers, I help make it so that all three want to be there.  Think about how deceptively simple that is.

If your leaders want to be at work, they are enthusiastic about being there. They have a simpler time getting the buy-in of their employees.  They are motivated to grow the business so that they can give more people the experience/product/service they provide.  They seek out people like them to hire so that they can have like minded team members to work with.

If your employees want to be at work, they spend less time gossiping/complaining/whining.  They work more intently with your clients or customers.  They help out even if they don’t get paid to do that specific job.  They innovate and try out new things to see if they work better.  They encourage each other to do all of these activities.

If your customers want to be at your business they tell others about it.  They are willing to pay more and more to be able to work with you.  They come back.  Again, and again, and again.

I will steal Simon’s example to back up all three of these thoughts: Apple.  There are countless books, articles and interviews that say that the leaders of Apple regularly don’t go home because they are so engrossed in a project.  Many newspaper articles just came out about how little Apple retail store employees get paid.  But it wasn’t because the employees were complaining about it, it was third parties.  And Apple’s customers could buy a laptop from countless other computer companies at half or a third of the price, but they keep coming back for more.

Developing these leadership and communication skills are something that Dale Carnegie has helped many organizations with.  If you would like help doing this with your employees or yourself, call me at 515.724.3163 or email me at Ryan dot Lynch at Dale Carnegie dot com.  I want to help.

~Ryan Lynch