If you gather 100 experienced leaders together to share with you their most important secrets for success, you probably wouldn't hear a lot of academic theory or jargon. Instead, this is a good idea of what you'd hear:
1) Put ethics first. If you make unethical decisions for short-term gain, you will lose in the end. Let your principles guide you in the many decisions you must make regarding business practices and people. You will regret it if you don't.
2) Surround yourself with the best people you can find. If you are able to attract the brightest, most dedicated, most talented people, they will move your organization forward. Leverage their skills, ideas and creativity? your people are your greatest asset.
3) Show your staff you value them personally. Research shows the personal relationship with a direct manager is the key for retaining your best and your brightest. Don't ever withhold your praise. Tell them why you value them and recognize their contributions.
4) Be trustworthy. Be fair in your dealings with others. Don't show favoritism. Remember you must always walk your talk. Your actions speak louder than your words. Don't ask others to do what you can't or won't do. You can't lead if others don't trust you.
5) Develop Win-Win-Win Solutions. Your company will only grow if you can provide valuable services that help your clients succeed. In the meantime, you must help your staff achieve their goals, and the organization must grow. A win-win-win approach means you create solutions and services that support the best interests of your client, your staff and your company. If one of these elements is missing, your business won't grow. Don't try to shortchange one element to the benefit of the other.
Susan Cullen is President of Quantum Learning Solutions, Inc., based in New Jersey. She has over 15 years experience in Organizational Development and is considered an expert in the use of blended learning methodologies for lasting organizational change. For more information go to http://www.quantumlearn.com or you can reach us at (800) 683-0681.