Many business owners brag about their workforce, how good a job they do and how they work side-by-side with the business owner, indicating that the owner must be a great leader because every time they walk into the shop, everyone is hard at work. However, the sign of a good leader is not how well everyone works when they are on the floor. Rather, the sign of a good leader is how well their people function when they are not around.
Ethics has often been defined as doing the right thing, even when no one is looking, and one of the signs of a good leader is when their employee is doing the right thing, even when the leader is not around, and there is no threat of them showing up unexpected. Their people understand what the expectations are and what they must do to meet those expectations. Knowing the consequences also helps, but it is more important for the employees to want to do a good job because it will be appreciated, than knowing-doing a lousy job will get them fired.
Employees and business colleagues look to a good business leader to set an example for them. Whether they are employees or others in a volunteer organization, most people appreciate having someone they can go to for the times they need help, but also someone who trains them how to perform a specific function and then leaves them alone and let them do what they were trained to do.
Getting a group of employees to perform when they are not around is one of the best examples of a good leader. Managing by intimidation does not work, at least not for very long and most managers using that technique will quickly be replaced, especially after all of the worker's protest and walk off the job. For the business owner, this technique will have them spending more time hiring replacement workers than actually teaching anyone.
Too many business owners, they honestly believe it will take more time to train someone to do a job that it would take them to do it themselves. They have all, at one time or another, commented that they do not have the time to teach someone and that it is faster just to do it. While that may be true in a short-sighted kind of way, be taking the time to share their knowledge and then letting someone else do the work, it frees up their time for them to do other things.
One secret of being a good leader is not to randomly assign jobs and expect them all to be completed. A good leader will have a complete plan for every project with time, and cost goals to complete the project. Specific steps with specific timelines to gauge progress should be established. When the plan is final, a good leader can let the group get it done and walk away.
Aim For World-Class and Be Legendary,
Your Coach - Christian