The first thing you must learn about leadership is that your team is your greatest asset. If you look at them as an expense, as a problem, or a “necessary evil,” you’re already off the rails. John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less. Everyone has influence in someone else’s life.” How do you gain influence? You “add value to people,” John says. When you don’t add value to them, you de-value them.
The biggest roadblock to getting cooperation from your employees is how you value them. This is the root issue. When you really care, you will treat them with the utmost respect and dignity. Dale Carnegie says that the number one thing that employees want is “sincere and honest appreciation.” Every study that has been done has revealed that humans crave recognition and belonging far above how much their paycheck is every time. They aren’t really aware of this, but it’s true. (Now you have a little insider secret that they don’t even know!)
When we value someone at the highest possible level, we will learn to communicate effectively with them. Zig says, “Encouragement is the fuel that people run on.”
You may be thinking, But Howard, my employees seem to always be messing up. How can I encourage that? You don’t encourage the behavior, you encourage the person so that you can help change his or her behavior.
Your team is your greatest asset. If you don’t treat your team well, they won’t treat your customers well in the long run. Sure you might get away with dictatorship for a while, but when the dictator isn’t present, the followers don’t care about the mission.
How do you turn this around? You first value them for who they are (and whose they are I might add—they’re not yours!) Every human being is God’s creation. We need to treat them that way. Don’t worry, you won’t have to let them get away with murder. We’ll talk about how to get them to do what you want them to do in a minute.
But first, I want to talk about you and your ego. Part of our problem as business owners is we think we are all-important. And because I’m the boss, everyone else needs to bow down and do what I say. Sure, you’re the boss and you should be respected. But you want to have the right kind of respect. Instead of forced respect, you want earned respect. There’s a difference.
(As a business owner, you want to have the right kind of respect. Instead of forcing it, earn it. There’s a difference.)
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