Values-based business behavior is no longer simply an interesting option - it's crucial to your survival. Once you understand your mission and values, you have a strong basis for evaluating your practices and aligning them accordingly.
At Southwest, they're on a mission to democratize air travel. When they first started, the only people who could fly were relatively wealthy businesspeople, and Herb Kelleher's vision was to offer everyone the chance to visit a friend or relative during a happy and a sad time. That's a vision employees can get excited about.
The biggest obstacle that stalls leaders' growth is the human ego. When leaders start to think they know it all, they stop growing.
Patrick Lencioni, Spencer Johnson, and Stephen Covey are great communicators.
Many companies claim they have core values, but typically what they're referring to are generic beliefs: having integrity, making a profit, responding to customers and so on. These values only have meaning when they're defined in terms of how people behave and are ranked to set priorities.
'One Minute Mentoring' is written in the parable style Spencer Johnson and I popularized in 'The One Minute Manager.' It's an entertaining story about the mentorship between a young salesperson, Josh, and a seasoned executive named Diane. As the characters learn about mentoring, so does the reader.
If your employees are disengaged, and they don't take care of your customers, it doesn't matter how good your strategy is - your customers will still go somewhere else.
Too often in business, only financial data is gathered - and then it is distributed only to management. Other key indicators that relate to performance areas also need to be tracked. Information on performance has to be made available to those people who can best use it - those doing the work.
Don't quack like a duck, soar like an eagle.
At my company, we have 300 employees spread across offices all over the world, and I send them all a voicemail each morning with a message from me about why our work is important and a reminder about one of our values. I call myself our company's 'chief spiritual officer.'
Growing, for leaders, is like oxygen to a deep sea diver. Without learning and growing, leaders die in terms of their effectiveness.
As a leader, you absolutely must expend your energy engaging your frontline employees so that they will take care of customers, who will tell stories about how great your company is to other people, who will become new customers.
When you write a business fable, people get caught up in the story and don't get judgmental about what you're teaching them. If you're teaching a bunch of concepts, people get skeptical and say, 'Where'd you get that research?' But if you tell them a story, they get caught up in it while they learn.
Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Some people are really good at the visionary role. They're like third grade teachers who tell people the vision and values over and over and over until they get it right, right, right. But they're not implementers. If they're good leaders, they gather people around them who can take the implementation role and move it forward.
I absolutely believe in the power of tithing and giving back. My own experience about all the blessings I've had in my life is that the more I give away, the more that comes back. That is the way life works, and that is the way energy works.
I think a great leader is somebody who realizes it's not about them, it's about the people that they're serving, that they're really other-directed rather than self- directed.
I never use notes, they interfere with me.
If people aren't clear on what business you're in, what you're trying to accomplish, your values, your goals, then shame on you. It doesn't mean you shouldn't involve them. It's just your responsibility to make sure that that's clear.
Age is rarely a limitation to being a mentor.