Leadership Archives

Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last or Take Care of Your People and They’ll Take Care of You

Leaders Eat Last

Leaders Eat Last

I have not had the opportunity to read Simon Sinek’s new book, Leaders Eat Last and this isn’t about the book. It is, however, a discussion of the next principle of leadership I mentioned in my last post.

Take care of your people.

If you take care of your people, they’ll take care of you.

I learned about this principle as a young private in the Army. My platoon was on an exercise in the Georgia backwoods. We’d parachuted into a drop zone, gathered our equipment then moved out to a location we occupied for 24 hours.

During that time we went a full day without food. Somehow my comrades elected me to find our non-commissioned officers and find out where our C rations might be.

Imagine my young, impressionable mind trying to understand what I came across. Here were all our sergeants sitting around a fire eating rations, drinking coffee, smoking and joking.

These men who were responsible for the health and welfare of their subordinates had obtained cases of C rations, rifled through them for the best meals then sat eating them while we went hungry.

I swore to myself there and then if I ever was in a position of leadership, I’d always eat after my men.

You can also imagine how my platoon mates took the news when I arrived with the much-needed chow. Needless to say our respect for these so-called leaders was completely lost.

Any person in a position of responsibility has just that, a responsibility to his or her subordinates. Whether in the military or in business we MUST take care of our people.

How hard can it be you should ask? Train your people so they understand what is expected of them. Pay them a meaningful wage. Guide them, advise them and council them on their path ahead.

How much better do you feel when someone who you’re responsible to treats you as a human being? Remember the golden rule, “Treat others as you would want to be treated.”

When I was placed in a leadership position I took it upon myself to get to know my people. Who are they? What are their aspirations? What are their goals? What can I do to help them reach their goals?

The payoff has been people loyal to me and to my cause. I had subordinates willing to follow me in good times AND tough times. Absolutely necessary in military situation—just as necessary in a non-military situation.

In business I work with my employees and contractors to help them achieve their goals. By achieving those goals I achieved my goals. A win-win situation to say the least.

While I haven’t read Sinek’s book, I’d certainly suggest you do if you want more information on how to take care of your people so they’ll take care of you. A good friend of mine HAS read the book and considers it the best book on leadership he’s ever read. It’s definitely on my “to read” list.

Here’s to your success!

 

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

Lead By Example

The first leadership principle I ever learned was to lead by example. Although it sounds simple, it never ceases to amaze me how few so-called leaders actually lead by example.

Remember the old adage “Never ask your subordinates to do anything you wouldn’t do?” It’s one completely ignored by many in leadership positions today.

Here’s a question: When Mr. or Ms. Leader did you ask one of your people to work on a weekend but you yourself won’t work on weekends?

How about working on holidays or at certain times of the day? Do you take the initiative to work all schedules you ask your people to work?

Are you the type of leader who takes all the good deals but gives the bad deals to your subordinates? Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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What’s the Best Leadership Style?

What’s the Best Leadership Style?

What's the Best Leadership Style?

What’s the Best Leadership Style?

It’s probably a pretty good assumption that as a business owner you’ll never have to give an employee a life or death order. Or make a life or death decision. Thankfully very few professions compel leaders to make decisions and give orders that could lead to a subordinate’s deaths.

A military leader and a business leader are not faced with the same extremes, yet they are faced with life and death matters. In the military decisions about life and death refer to human beings. In business, decisions about life and death refer to your business.

It would seem therefore, that leadership styles needed for the military would be different than those needed in business. I don’t agree with this assumption. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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Leader or Manager or Both

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Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

Leader or Manager or Both

We had a saying when I was in the service, “What the Air Force needed was more leaders, and what the Army needed was more managers.” The joke was every officer and noncom in the Army considered themselves a leader, while every officer and noncom in the Air Force considered themselves a manager.

Is there a difference between a leader or manager? Absolutely, there’s a big difference between the two. Over the next couple weeks we’ll look at that difference and see how it impacts your business.

Leaders lead people and managers manage things. People versus things is the big difference between leading and managing. As a good friend of mine puts it, “No one ever managed themselves out of a crisis.” It takes leadership, leaders to get out of a crisis, not bean counters.

How to Know the Difference

As I mentioned we manage things. Work schedules, benefit packages, training programs are all part of management. All necessary to any business. However, plugging a name into a schedule or designing one size fits all benefit packages isn’t leading.

Leading is knowing your people, their needs, wants, desires. Leading is knowing what makes them tick and being the leader who inspires them to achieve more. Read the rest of this entry

Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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