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Leadership Lessons—Are You Prepared?

There are seven company presidents at The Dwyer Group. Some of us presidents are such good friends that we hang out after hours or on weekends.

One of those seven, with whom I am very close, was in a horrible bicycle accident last week. He is a world-class cyclist and was a world-class runner. We’re not certain he will walk again. It looks like he will be in the hospital for months. Fortunately, he and his wife of over 30 years have an unmatchable bond and a tremendous faith in God. She says, “It isn’t life threatening—just life changing. We are excited to discover what God has in store for us next.”

I don’t know anyone else who could have this attitude faced with the same issues. That is where leadership comes in. Everyone who goes up to the hospital room comes away inspired. Again, leadership shines through.

The other thing that happened is that he trained his staff to handle things when he isn’t in the office. His vice president is very prepared. Why? Because of his leadership and because he let her take a leadership role even when he was in the office.

I’ve gone to many meetings where someone makes innumerable calls back to their office to make sure things are “going ok.” Obviously these people haven’t prepared their staff to handle things when they are gone.

A few years ago Inc. Magazine had an article about “What Employees Want.” Here is that list:

  1. Employees want purpose;
  2. Employees want goals;
  3. Employees want responsibilities;
  4. Employees want autonomy;
  5. Employees want flexibility;
  6. Employees want attention;
  7. Employees want opportunities for innovation;
  8. Employees want open-mindedness;
  9. Employees want transparency; and
  10. Employees want compensation.

Too often employers think it is all about money. That is No. 10 on the list! Employees really want purpose, responsibilities, autonomy, opportunities and open-mindedness. This is exactly what this president created for his vice president! Again, exemplary leadership.

Have you done this in your business? If you were hospitalized for months would your business survive? More importantly, would it thrive? If not, what can you do about it? What should you do about it starting today?

That’s our question for this week. If you were hospitalized for an extended period are you prepared for it? Are you preparing your people for it?

This president was a great cyclist. In fact, he rode 40 to 50 miles most mornings before getting to the office at 7:30 a.m. He wasn’t being careless. It was simply an accident that will change his family’s life. And his business.

Check out the above list again. How many of these would your employee’s say you are providing for them? As I look back though life I can easily say that my best bosses provided all of these. My worst boss … ever … provided just one—compensation. I was paid well. That wasn’t what I was looking for—although it was nice. I left that company quickly, without another job, because the environment was one that stifled me and I hated going to work every day.

I love the statement by Pat Riley, president of the Miami Heat, “Being ready isn’t enough; you have to be prepared for a promotion or any other significant change.”

Obviously a significant change happened last week. Fortunately, because of his leadership, everyone was prepared—including himself. What a great leadership lesson.

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