Bob Gambone is a dear friend and is also an Encores! Resource Team member. He is one of the premier business coaches in the country. Bob will be giving a unique presentation to Encores! members and their friends 0n May 15, 2012 called Knock, Knock…Who’s There?…SUCCESS!…Really? Read Bob’s post below and take in the secrets of his success.
Over my 36 years in retail management, one day stands out. It was my first day as store manager at a new location—and it was the day I learned afresh about the essence of leadership.
As I entered the store, smile on my face and notebook and pencil in hand, I mentally prepared myself to meet new customers and employees. Top of mind was the new cleaning initiative the company was committed to. As I toured the store that day, I talked with employees and department heads about the status of the project.
Walking from department to department, I was intrigued by the similar response across the board: “Denny has us on top of it.” “Oh yes, we make sure we follow the checklist; wouldn’t want to upset Denny.” and “Nice to meet you, and if you see Denny ask him to stop by. We have some questions.” I assumed Denny was a co-manager, responsible for engaging all employees in this new initiative.
When I finally got upstairs where the offices were located, I asked my human resources manager for a list of the store’s department heads and managers. After reviewing the list, I turned to Debbie (the HR manager), and asked, “Does Denny go by a different name? I don’t see him on this list.” She looked at me quizzically, and said, “Our Denny? He’s the janitor.”
Denny was not a manager or a department head and had never aspired to be one. Denny, however, was a leader, and was clearly filling a void that was left empty by the management team. This realization convinced me that leadership is found in the person and not in the position.
Take a hard look at your management team. Are they inspiring their teams to do the job? Or are they just simply assigning work?
In today’s economy, more than ever, business owners and executives need their managers and department heads to be leaders.
Here are seven qualities demonstrated by leaders:
- Leaders are passionate and enthusiastic. Attitudes are contagious and your team leaders understand that they are role models.
- Leaders model your company’s values and “walk the talk.”
- Leaders pull their teams up the hill, face them, and don’t turn their backs. Old school managers push employees.
- Leaders are not necessarily the best workers. They understand that the task is never more important than the customer.
- Leaders develop others, place a high value on the “we,” and discourage the “I.”
- Leaders understand when people need to be led and when to let people take the lead.
- Leaders listen and provide positive reinforcement and constructive criticism.
For more information on how you can grow your leadership, contact: Bob Gambone, Business Life and Leadership Coach: