One of Sam’s most frequent reminders to ETE’s leadership is “fish stink from the head.” What Sam means is that the worst smelling part of a dead fish is its head. But what Sam really means is that most problems within a company can be traced back to its leadership.
What makes a leader great? It might not be the qualities you think. Serving others may just be the distinguishing quality of an excellent leader. Let’s look at nine service-oriented strategies that can help you take your crew to unprecedented levels of success.
You are completely in control of your attitude. And, as a leader, you can influence the attitude of your people (and, therefore, their performance) by creating an environment in which positive attitude is revered and people with negative or toxic attitudes are voted off the island.
It’s a tough time to be a leader. What with the economy being so unforgiving, making smart business decisions is crucial. That’s true in terms of not only strategy (whether to change your service mix or move into a new marketplace) but also relationships (whether to fire the high-volume performer who drives you nuts or address the conflict head-on). All actions have consequences. So does lack of action. And with the margin for error so slim, you want to make sure you’re thinking as coolly and clearly as possible.
Here’s where your role as a leader comes into play in several ways. You’ll need to lead your customers to make the purchases of your services that they require, you’ll have to lead your employees to a sense of well-being and excitement about their futures in the industry, and you will want to take the lead in your communities by setting an example of enthusiasm for other small businesses to follow. After all, recessions end when enough of us believe they are over. If your enthusiasm is contagious you may be able to help hasten the process.
Recent statistical surveys show that only 10% of employees look forward to going to work, and most point to a lack of leadership as the reason for their discontent. Many, at management level and below, don’t believe they are given the proper direction, motivation or attainable goals to make the daily contribution to their employers worth the time and effort they are asked to put in. In other words, they are uninspired by their so-called leaders.
It turned out that about 90% of accidents resulted from pilot error. Even some of the weather-related crashes could have been avoided if the pilots had followed proper procedure in checking the weather beforehand or not taking off when the weather was too bad. There were even incidents in which planes ran out of fuel because pilots, who did not anticipate weather problems, thought they had enough to get where they were going.