Leadership – People will only follow someone who is more self-disciplined than themselves.
“As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” – Andrew Carnegie (Steel Mogul and one of the World’s Wealthiest Men of All Time)
**For more information about the nation’s leadership expert, and U.S. SBA Entrepreneur of the Year, Clay Clark
When you are at the top you are held to a higher standard than others. I love the tattoo worn by countless athletes that reads, “Only God can judge me.” And yes that is true from an eternal perspective. But on the planet Earth, people will judge you too. People will judge you based on what you do, not based on what you intend on doing. This is harsh. but this is the truth. I have included this Andrew Carnegie quote in my book a few times, not by mistake but to emphasize a point. If you are going to be a leader, you are going to need followers. If you are going to attract followers, people must judge you as “being worth following”. If people think you don’t have your finances, your emotions, your actions and your life together, they are not going to want to follow you. Although John Maxwell has written some great books about leadership, I only have 5 leadership rules I try to focus on.
Leadership Rule #1 – Model the behavior you want to see out of others. If you want people to be on time, be on time. If you want others to work without complaining, then work without complaining. Hold yourself to a higher standard than your people and the people around you will begin to improve their behavior as well.
Leadership Rule #2 – Remember we are managing humans here, not robots. “When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion, creatures bristling with prejudice, and motivated by pride and vanity” were the words once famously written by the great student of people, Dale Carnegie. You must take the time to get to know your people and what motivates them if you are ever going to motivate them.
Leadership Rule #3 – Only speak positively when awake. When you are in front of others you must always speak positively. If you someone has wronged you or I, we must not speak out it out loud. We are leaders and our words carry more weight often times. Whether this is fair or not, our words are heavier than others. If a new employee says, “that customer is out of their mind!” that is not good. If the leadership of a company says, “these customers aer out of their minds!” this is awful. As leaders our words can convey a deep meaning to our people. If a leader talks poorly about a customer, next thing you know the entire team is speaking negatively about all the customers. Carry a mirror and watch your mouth.
Leadership Rule #4 – You must always be improving upon yourself. The people who work for you or with you do so because they see something in you that they admire. If they don’t see something that they admire, and if you fail to inspire, they will soon lose their desire to be a part of your empire. Get it? Improve yourself constantly and your team will stay loyal.
Leadership Rule #5 – “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” – Proverbs 29:18 If you don’t believe in the Bible, here is the secular translation. If your company is not growing your top people will be going. If your people don’t see the dream they are quitting your team. If your staff doesn’t see the goal they are going to lose their soul (that one might have been a little dramatic). My friend, people are not going to stick around and work for a company that is not going anywhere. Most people won’t even wait in a drive-thru line for more than 5 minutes and in today’s microwave society, people are not going to stick around a stagnant company for very long.