Friday, October 26, 2012

Small Leadership Gestures That Have a Big Impact

Humble. Decent. Accessible. Are these words your employees would use to describe you?
Those are terms often used to describe business tycoon Warren Buffet, the man who still lives in the Omaha, Neb. house he bought in 1958 for $31,500 and is often game to strike silly poses with fans who want a photograph with him.
If you’re not like Buffet, are you more likely to be the kind of boss who can’t make time for staff members – except to bark orders – and has to be tracked down in the bathroom by employees with a question?
Forcing employees to take such action just to get some face time is not only embarrassing and frustrating for workers, but shows you’re headed for the “a-hole boss” category. While you may believe having workers dislike you means that you’re doing a good job or being a tough leader, you’re on the wrong road.
That’s because many of the top leaders who garner loyalty, great business results and success (remember Buffet?) are also decent human beings who don’t abandon integrity as they climb the ladder of success.
The way to be a great leader is not that hard. In fact, it’s often the smallest things that can make the biggest difference to workers and garner their loyalty and respect.  Try:

  • Showing respect for an employee’s time. Don’t be the last one to show up for a meeting and the first one to leave, which tells employees that you think your time is more valuable. You’re in charge of the meeting and should be there to greet workers as they arrive, a gesture that conveys you value their time. Set a time for beginning and ending the meeting, and stick to it.
  • Don’t send mixed messages. If you tell employees that times are tough, and then show up in a new vehicle the next day, that won’t look good. Bring a brown (read more here)

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