It doesn’t take a leader very long to realize that it’s easier to give advise than to follow it. Wise leaders not only give solid advice: they heed it. As we begin the New Year, it is a great opportunity to look in the mirror and revaluate your leadership direction and style.


As a member of your organization’s leadership team, you are held to a higher standard than those with which you lead. The bull’s-eye is always on the back of the leader, just like the quarterback who takes the heat when a team does not perform and gets much of the credit when the team wins. It’s the nature of the leadership beast.


One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my tenure in the corporate world, as well as the private sector, is that the majority of the good ideas we implemented over the years, did not come out of the boardroom, but born from the trenches. With that being said, as a leader, be ‘approachable’ and willing to listen to your team.


There are three distinct drivers of people:

  1. Money, incentive and rewards
  2. Recognition from boss and/or peers
  3. The opportunity to contribute – feeling like you make a difference


Most leaders/business owners discount number three, thinking that all they have to do is give someone a title and pay them. Studies have shown that feeling like you’re making a difference is actually the largest motivator, surpassing the first two factors.  If you want your associates to care, listen to their ideas. If they think that you care about what they have to say, they will take ownership of your company and/or department, and when everyone takes ownership you will see your business/department reach new heights.  And that is priceless.