You are a leader, even if not officially. People follow your example, learn from you, want to know your opinions and so on. Constantly improving your leadership skills is essential to your success.
Most people have the wrong idea about leadership. For example, car salesman Jim was promoted to the Sales Manager position. During his first week as manager, he decided to show everyone who was boss.
Jim cracked the whip. He held a meeting and told the other sales people, “I want 10 cars sold today or someone will get fired!”
The sales people ran around looking busy and avoiding Jim. Everyone tried to force customers to buy cars, but car sales dropped.
Jim yelled even louder. “You can’t sell cars by pressuring customers, you idiots! Now get out there and sell these stupid cars!”
After a month of this, his two best sales people quit. Sales dropped even further.
Jim said, “I can’t believe this! What am I doing wrong?”
Five Bad Leadership Attitudes
Like many new managers, Jim had these five wrong ideas:
- “Because I’m the manager, you better respect me . . . or else!”
- “People are lazy; I have to force them to work.”
- “I’m superior to everyone. I can do anything I want.”
- “If you work for me, you need to kiss my butt.”
- “If you don’t like how I run things, you can leave.”
Because of these attitudes, Jim’s sales people were selling fewer cars and looking for other jobs. If Jim did not change his attitude, he would also be looking for a new job soon.
Just in time, Jim learned this vital fact about management.
A Key to Leadership Success
“I believe that to command is to serve and only gives one the right to serve.” — L. Ron Hubbard
At first Jim said, “What? I’m supposed to serve others? How ridiculous!”
But then he thought it through. A lightbulb above his head flashed on.
“If I SERVE my staff members by teaching them about sales and cars, they know how to sell better.”
“If I SERVE my staff members with kindness and courtesy, they treat customers better!”
“If I’m here to SERVE my team, I don’t force them to make sales, I help them make sales.”