Are you sure about that?

My favorite business leaders are Steve Jobs and Jack Welch.  I read as much as I can about them.  Winning by Jack Welch is my favorite business book.   What I admire most is their personable but strict leadership.  I envy it.

My favorite Steve Jobs quote is, “We don’t hire smart people to tell them what to do.  We hire smart people to tell us what to do”.  When you are the leader of your business I don’t feel you’ll have long term success if it’s all about you.  In the beginning it’s easier and probably a more comfortable path to charge ahead with your ideas, skills and processes.   However, long term, I challenge that kind of culture won’t provide for the maximum success.  Maximum success comes from a diverse culture that encourages creativity.  Creativity that challenges not only you but your goals.  Creativity that actually raises your expectations.  Creativity that helps you accomplish more than you planned.

Yes, YOU need a business plan and objectives.  Yes, YOU are responsible at the end of the day.  Yes, YOU either succeeded or didn’t.  Yes… others can help you get there.

Did you plan for everything?  Are you doing it the best way?  Did you uncover every opportunity?  Are you sure?  Who can help?

No job is too little

When you own your own business you understand where the saying “chief cook & bottle washer” comes from.  You are responsible for everything.  Whether it’s replacing the AC or heading to your office on a Saturday morning because somebody forgot their key.  Those roles can take away from the things that provide an ROI or simply stuff you enjoy.  It’s important to keep in mind everything you do… big or small… is the glue that keeps your customers happy, provides a great place to work to retain quality employees as well as provide a return on  your investment.  Everything you do is critical to many people so don’t think something is too little.  Your efforts touch the happiness (or not) and the success (or not) of people not just processes.

I attended a seminar hosted by Disney.  It was very insightful and demonstrated how Disney focuses on the “Guest” experience as well as employee workplace in everything they do.  One session spoke about how every job is important.  An example was given that one day a Cast Member was walking around Disney World picking up litter.  A guest asked for him to take a picture of their family.  He gladly did and went on doing his job.  Soon after, Disney received a heartfelt note from the family.  It seems a member of the family had passed away shortly after their trip to Disney World.  They realized the picture taken by the Cast Member was actually the last picture they have of their family together.

As an employee of your company don’t forget you touch so many people’s lives.  I can assure that you don’t know many of the times you said or did something that touched somebody in a positive way.  People just don’t always drop a note saying so.

hello

Hi, welcome to my blog. I started this blog because the first question I’m asked when I mention I own a small business is, “Wow, what is that like?”  I have the same, experienced answer.  It’s great!  You’re building something, you’re helping people achieve whatever they’re trying to achieve and hopefully your accomplishing your financial goals.  It’s great knowing you can affect & correct every aspect of your organization.  It’s all you.  It’s a whole new set of problems you never imagined though.  I’ll get into those as time goes by.

So what’s with the title?  Well, it’s “lead by example”.  Be the example of what you expect from your team.  Teach them what’s important by your actions not just your words.

I think it’s appropriate that my first post talks about my first lesson, at my first job & at my first management training class.  In the class I asked a very tenured & successful manager, “What does it take to be a successful leader?”  Being right out of the college textbooks and a mindset of I’ve been trained at a 60,000 student university I was ready for something like tenacity, skilled, problem solver, self driven, etc.  To my surprise he said, “You need to care about people.”  Whoa?!  I thought “I” was the key to my success.  I thought “I” was the most important driver of my success.  He explained that if you care about people & their success they will be the most important part of your success.  Over the years I’ve learned he was right.  Yes, there are some who will simply take advantage of your efforts.  You need to address and remove those when you see that is the case.  However, if you hire the right people most will actually help you become the leader you want to be.  I strongly believe that business philosophy because I’ve seen it over and over again.

Hire the right people, help them achieve their own goals, remove those that don’t get it… and Lead By I.E.