Live like a leader.
You live real leadership every day in your life. Leadership becomes the fabric of your very soul.
It’s the way you conduct yourself at all times. Leading by example means you work harder than everybody else, and you work longer than everybody else.
Do the right thing.
To be a good business leader, it takes an unwavering commitment to do the right thing in the business. No matter what you feel, if you keep centered on what is the best for the business, and not let your emotions enter into it, you’ll be a much more successful businessperson. One of the key things is to prioritize your day to make sure that you are working on the things that have the most beneficial impact to the overall business.
Make yourself accessible.
I’m in this operation a lot of hours every day, and if my associates need me on a Saturday or a Sunday, I make myself available for those things. That’s part of the commitment level. I think you’re committed or you’re not; you’re not halfway.
It comes back to leadership and leading by example: You can’t ask people to do things that you’re not willing to do. That doesn’t mean that you spend your time doing all of the nuts and bolts for those people; that’s not the point at all. It’s the point of being accessible, available and making sure that your people feel very comfortable talking to you about anything.
Business leaders have fewer resources than we had before because of business conditions, so we’ve got to give our people tools. They have to become stronger in this very competitive environment.
That’s what real leadership has to recognize: They need to give their people more skills to do what they have to do, even to deliver their same responsibilities.
Demand professionalism from your employees.
You have to start with trying to hire some of the best people.
One of the slogans we have here is that if you wouldn’t trust these people to baby-sit your children, you don’t bring them in this company. We have grooming standards that are unheard of in this day and age but, I’m sorry, that’s the way I believe.
All of our associates are in clean, neat uniforms. Their shoes are shined. Men have their hair cut; there are no beards allowed.
We do not allow piercings. We’re a little bit old-fashioned when it comes to that, but those are the standards on which the company was built.
Our name is on everything that we do uniforms, trucks, identification badges and our product. It’s so vitally important that we represent ourselves at all times with the utmost professionalism.
That gets harder in today’s world. I want to be proud of everyone who works for our company. I want to be proud to introduce any of our associates to the president of any company that we serve. Standards are lax in a lot of companies so we’ve really had to strengthen it. We don’t allow casual dress in our company because we serve the public, and we need to look the part all the time.
If you expect to exceed customer expectations, you have to start with that. Everybody talks about standard operating procedures, how you deliver your service, the quality of your products but you’ve got to start with the people who are delivering the service.
Make a good first impression.
If you go to a restaurant and don’t have such a great meal but you have wonderful customer service, you’ll go back again.
Go to a restaurant where the food is outstanding but your service was terrible, you’ll never go back. You’ve got one chance to make an impression, and that one chance happens every day.
Deal with problems immediately.
Don’t wait too long to make a decision on something that you need to get handled. If you don’t do something about it, it festers; you worry about it, and it causes more problems. If you don’t deal with it, you are affecting what you can do for a lot of people, and now you are really the problem.
Nobody teaches you how to be a leader.
You go to school, and you do the best you can but until you’re in that position, you don’t know that for sure.
Before, you were worried about what you did; now as a leader, you’ve got to worry about what everybody else does. It’s totally different.
Be open to advice.
There are people within your organization who can offer you great help, and I’ve had to learn to understand that sometimes I’ve got to look at a different point of view.
That’s part of the maturing process in life. By not listening to them, you’re losing one of your biggest talents within your organization the brainpower.
You’re not going to accept everything somebody says, but they work within this organization and know some of the strengths and weaknesses. They might have some great recommendations to help you improve your organization; you’ve got to take in that information.
HOW TO REACH: Sanese Services, (800) 589-3410 or www.sanese.com