Oscar Barbara is not one to
hole up in his office, away from the buzz of his business.
Instead, he gets out and visits
his various job sites, meeting
regularly with his 36 employees
to make sure that they know
what’s happening at Quantum
Builders Inc., a home builder and
residential real estate development company. The company’s
founder and president says that
being visible and leading by
example lessens the need to
explain things to employees
because they can see it, believe
it, understand it and respect it in
Barbara also supports his
employees in the field, even
when it means cleaning or filling
in for them in an emergency. He
believes in treating his employees like family and says that
doing so creates a mutual
respect; in return, they will go
out of their way to help the company succeed.
Barbara’s philosophy of leading
by example and supporting
employees has helped the company reach 2007 revenue of
Smart Business spoke with
Barbara about how to set a good
example for employees.
Set an example. There has to be
a philosophy from the top, and
it has to manifest all the way
through. If they don’t know
that that’s the philosophy, it’s
hard for somebody that’s
down the tiers to know it.
As it goes down, they start to
lose the intent of the company.
So if you meet the guy at the
top and this guy is telling his
senior people, and hopefully,
they’re telling their people,
[then] hopefully, it conveys all
the way down and it’s one philosophy.
It’s a commitment. Whether
it’s as simple as organizing
your documents or doing a
specific task, you just don’t do
it to do it, you do it because
you believe in it and want to
do the best job that you can.
If you don’t have passion,
you’re lost. If you don’t have
that fire to drive you every day
because you love what you’re
doing, you’re lost. If you don’t
believe in what you’re saying
or doing, you can’t sell anything and have anybody
believe you. When it comes
from the heart and you speak
from the heart and you believe
from the heart, it’s easy to follow that example. It’s a way of
life; it’s not a job.
You don’t have to sell it. You
don’t have to preach something that people don’t believe.
If you believe it and execute it
and show them that’s you and
the philosophy, it’s easy to
Recognize employees. A pat on
the back and recognition for
a job well done is better than
a big ol’ paycheck. Once they
do something and have gone
out of their way, they need to
be recognized. Not just by a
nice bonus at year end, but
let them know that, that one
moment, that special thing or
that effort they put in is also
recognized on a day-to-day
or weekly [basis] whenever they do it.
Don’t leave it for that year-end bonus. It’s a good motivation to keep everybody energized and to let them know,
‘That was a great job.’