If you think your business is all about you and what you’re doing to make the business successful, your leadership will not be very effective. The people doing the work to help make your business successful will be less likely to put in the effort that’s needed if you’re the only one who gets the credit.

It’s better to lead through a servant leadership lens. Don’t hire people selfishly just so they can make you more money. If they sense that’s what’s happening, they won’t put forth as much effort, resorting to doing the minimal work to get a paycheck. Remember, you are struggling against human nature and the tendence to take the path of least resistance.

As a servant leader, when things are going well, your team should get the credit – it’s a team effort. Different people have different ideas of what makes a good leader. But most people want a leader who is real, not a leader who is always right. When workers get the credit for successes, they will go above and beyond what’s required of them.

Be thoughtful and intentional. Connect with the people who work for you. Small things can make a big difference – good leaders are adept at building relationships. Your workers need to trust you. Because people emulate, the skill of leadership is caught, not taught.

There is a difference between a leader and a manager. Leadership involves influence; management involves accountability. You should know in which sphere you and your workers are gifted.

Managers get people to do what they want them to do (perhaps involving a certain amount of force). The element of relationship is lacking.

Your company’s core values are important. Your company culture is a reflection of you as a leader. Post the core values for everyone to see. This is a way to make everyone accountable – workers, managers, leaders. If you make workers part of your culture process, it lets them know there’s something in it for them. Make it a team effort if possible, even if it’s a culture team that represents everyone.

In order to keep people accountable, they need to know what is expected from them, and it needs to be in writing. Be clear and set metrics. Workers should have a position description and also know what job achievement they are working toward. With a system in place, you are proactive. In the current labor climate, annual reviews are not often enough. Constant coaching, attention and evaluations are needed. The newer generations of workers want frequent feedback. If there are problems, metrics need to be reviewed and issues addressed quickly. If they are exceeding expectations, they should merit a bonus.

This extra effort will make it easier for you to attract and keep your workforce. People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.

Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 203 with guest Dan Dowdy "The Platinum Rule"
Bridging the Gap Podcast, episode 203 with guest Dan Dowdy “The Platinum Rule”

Tune in to episode 203 of Bridging the Gap Podcast with Dan Dowdy to hear about his personal experiences as an entrepreneur with culture, communication and being intentional. 

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