As customers, most people have had both good and bad experience with businesses, whether buying at a retail store, ordering in a restaurant or having home improvements done, such as replacement windows. Sometimes you are treated very well, with sales staff, managers, and company personnel going the extra mile to provide first rate service. On other occasions, you are dealing with business representatives that are simply going through the motions. They are not inspired to do a great job; instead they are just doing the job.
In most cases your treatment as a customer reflects the leadership of the business. The old saying “it all starts at the top” is evident in the manner and attitude in which employees perform their jobs. When the higher ups take employees for granted, the customer does not get the same attention as when employees are treated well and feel that they are a key part of the organization.
Business leader, organizational consultant and author of the best-seller books Start with Why and Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek has written and spoken extensively on the link between leadership and attaining successful results. In March, of 2018, he tweeted:
“The responsibility of a company is to serve the customer. The responsibility of leadership is to serve their people so that their people may better serve the customer. If leaders fail to serve their people first, customer and company will suffer.”
Serving Your People
When leaders invest their time and trust in the development of their employees, and equip them with what they need to succeed, including training, tools and confidence, those employees will excel at their jobs. As Sinek and many broadminded CEOs and business owners are now recognizing, this means serving your employees well.
“Because you own the company, you’re the boss,” says Sinek. “But you’re not a leader until you make it your job to look after others.”
Too often, people are thrust into leadership roles by default. No one else wants the job, or someone has excelled in an area of business and is suddenly promoted to a managerial position whether they have leadership skills or not. Unfortunately, it’s not a skill that anyone can simply acquire overnight. Yes, you can learn to be a good leader, but it takes some time and practice. It starts with accepting the concept that leadership is not all about you but is all about others.
Why Am I Telling You All of This?
Simon Sinek is, in a word, “inspiring,” which is why I read his books and listen to his Ted Talks. I am always striving to be a better leader, in business and in life. I want my employees to want to come to work each day. I want to know if they have a problem or if they have a solution to a problem we are having in our company. I want them to take pride in their work and feel that we are all in this together. Outside of work, I want to be a leader in my community.
Whether you’re coaching a team, directing a show, heading a volunteer organization, running a small business or heading a major corporation, learning leadership skills through books, webinars, seminars or classes, can greatly enhance your chances of success. I’m telling you this because we don’t need more people who simply hold leadership titles, we need more actual leaders – good ones.
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader,” Simon Sinek