Monday, July 26, 2010

Ten Aspects of Strong Leadership: Point #3

The third aspect of strong leadership overlaps with the second point that was covered on Friday. It addresses how effective leaders deal with employees.

3) Cherish and respect employees

The first thing that a real leader recognizes is that you can not do it all by yourself. You must rely on others and get your work done through other people. The key is how to properly motivate them. Not everybody gets it.

I once worked under someone who clearly thought that employees were an expense to the organization rather than an investment. His idea of employee loyalty was, "You work hard for me for two weeks then I give you a paycheck and we're even". That was it. No connection beyond that. This was not the enlightened thinking of a great leader. Clearly he thought that employees were totally replaceable. Even in a tough job market like today with many people looking to jobs, this is not the way to inspire employees to put their heart and soul into their work.

As Chuck Lauer says, "Employees who get respect will produce at their highest capacity and make their leader look good". My philosophy has always been to surround myself with the best people I can, Give them the resources they need to do their job and stay out of their way except to support them as needed.

As for front line staff, doing the MBWA that was covered last week is important, but not the most important thing. Letting them in on what is going on and seeking their input is invaluable. For an employee to be able to go home and tell his or her family about some new service coming to the hospital before they read about it in the paper makes them feel empowered and alligned with the organization. This is the kind of employee who will do anything to help the hospital succeed. That is a great gift. Make sure they know how much you appreciate it.

More on leadership tomorrow.

Mark Brodeur

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