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  • Writer's pictureRobert Stevenson

Leadership Is Lacking


Robert Stevenson Blog - arrow pointing the way for leadership

James O'Toole, a professor and leadership expert once said, "95% of American managers today say the right thing … 5% actually do it." On every front, poor LEADERSHIP is destroying companies. Unnecessary turnover of employees and disengaged employees, costs companies billions of dollars each year. People don’t leave companies, they leave bosses. 46% of employees leave their job because they did not feel appreciated. 75% of employees listed their immediate boss as the most stressful part of their job. But, the reverse of this … smart, shrewd, wise, astute, GREAT LEADERS have found that happy employees are 31% more productive and 56% better at sales.


Great leaders make people believe in themselves, feel good about working for the company and most importantly, feel special about being chosen to work there. Ralph Hart, a former CEO for Heublein, a company with thousands of employees, personally greeted new hires. He made it a point, within the first month of their employment, to sit down with them and have a short chat. He wanted to let them know just how the company, and himself, felt about having them work for the company.


Mr. Hart would go to their office, cubicle, alcove, or desk and ask the new employee if they had a minute to talk. This impeccably dressed man in his sixties, would then introduce himself and have a seat. He would even thank the new employee for allowing him to take some time away from their normal duties. Even though the new employee may have never seen the CEO before, they had been made aware of this legendary Chairman-of-the-Board in their first day of training.


Mr. Hart would then explain: “The company that you are working for is first-class. I want you to know we have first-class products, first-class marketing, first-class advertising and first-class customer service. We feel that all of our customers are first-class people.” Then with his eyes riveted on the new employee, he stated … “To be able to list everything we do as first-class, we have found that we must hire ONLY FIRST-CLASS PEOPLE. That being said, we are delighted to have you working here.” He concluded his chat, by extending his hand and saying, “Welcome to our company.”

In less than two minutes, this CEO had made an enormous impact on his new employee. The new employee couldn’t believe that the CEO of this enormous company even knew their name, much less believed that they were a first-class talent. What a wonderful, motivating, uplifting, inspiring, feeling this CEO created. There is nothing better than making someone feel special. There is nothing better than telling someone you believe in their talent. There is nothing better than letting someone know just how excited you are to have them working for you.


This CEO knew, how you treat your employees is how they will treat your customers and associates. If you want first-class employees, then treat them first-class. Employees will go out of their way to do more, deliver more, help more, innovate more, take on more responsibilities … when they are treated with respect and high regard.


What are you doing to make your employees feel first-class? If you can’t answer that question, you have a problem … AND you are putting time, effort and money training someone who will eventually leave and possibly end up working for your competition.

When you think about your employees’ needs instead of your own, the success of your business will take care of itself. If you show them that you are concerned about them advancing in their career, then they will help your company prosper; by helping them to succeed, they will help you succeed. Your relationship will grow and the need to micromanage will never be a concern.


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