Lead By Example- Or You Risk The Loyalty (And Productivity) Of Your Staff

Lead By Example- Or You Risk The Loyalty (And Productivity) Of Your Staff
Image credit: Chris Philpot
Guest Writer
3 min read
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The world of bosses is divided into three categories: the good, the bad, and the ugly. The “good”? True leaders that will push and motivate you. The “bad” are those that transform their inferiority complex into an intolerably dominant attitude, and the “ugly” are the meh ones- the bosses that are just there, and as a staff we could all do without them. If you’re an employee, you might recognize your upper management here, meaning that it might be about time to pack it in and look for greener pastures. As a business-owner, if you recognize yourself here, make the change in behavior because it’s costing you the loyalty of your employees, and ultimately dollars in staff retention and productivity.

Boss Beware #1: Give Credit Where It’s Due

One of my employers was so unfair she used to drive me crazy. She was the credit-stealing type when it came to successful ventures. When a presentation was well-received, she’d stick her name on it. When a project was well-executed, she would throw herself in the spotlight. She’s giving a speech? She’d never mention her team, not once, even the underdogs who worked 19 hours a day for two weeks for the success of the company they believed in. It was all about her, her, and only her. You cannot ignore the human capital of your company and think taking credit for every single project will make you look important. It will make you look cheap and petty, and if your own employees don’t respect you, it is highly unlikely that anyone else will.

Boss Beware #2: Do As You Want Your Staff To Do

My former employer used to want everything without lifting a finger. He wanted us on social media but barely made use of his own Twitter account. He wanted us always on time to the office and to events, but would always be at least half an hour late, making us look irresponsible and all around disrespectful to the entity staging the event. He wanted us to put in more working hours but come five o’clock, he’d already be calling his friends for after-work cocktails. He wanted us to always look presentable but would show up to formal events in his shorts and worn sneakers. You cannot lead a team without leading by example. Commit to what you’re asking your staff for and naturally, everyone will follow.

Boss Beware #3: Leave Your Personal Life At The Door

I wish my former employer would bring his work home. Instead, he’d do just the opposite. Everyone in the office –no matter how junior the staff member- knew about his family/friends/dog/financial issues and he’d encourage us to stop working for a few minutes (hours) to discuss his problems with him. It was a constant distraction; his never-ending whining and entitlement issues, and poor-me scenarios. Afterwards, he’d of course reprimand us for not finishing on time. Your personal problems are not part and parcel of your staff’s job description. You cannot expect them to respect and trust you if all you do is babble about how your son is not potty-trained yet, and how your wife is depressed. Keep your dirty laundry where it belongs… at home.

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