Help Needed: The Frame of Mind for Leadership

[This is a guest post by Ken Myers who is a father, husband, and entrepreneur. He has combined his passion for helping families find in-home care with his experience to build a business. You can check out his site to learn more about him and also connect with him on Twitter.  If you would like to guest post on my site, click here.]

When your organization is looking to hire an individual, it is because there is a specific position that needs to be filled for efficiency. Stop, take a look at that word back there – need. Your organization “needs” someone to fill that position. Too many superiors fall back on the premise of power and don’t really put much thought into why they hired the person in the first place. Who is doing who the favor of becoming your employee?

Employees Are a Necessity - Although desperation weighs heavily on many unemployed individuals in today’s society, your organization shouldn’t capitalize on this aspect. The fact is you need a strong work ethic in order to maintain efficiency and profitability in your business. It’s not enough to merely want someone to sit at a desk. If no one applies for the position, who is to do the job?

Helping the Business and Yourself - It’s not a matter of feeling like you are doing someone a favor by allowing them to work in your organization. The truth is, they are really doing you a favor by choosing to work for you. Without employees, your organization could crumble around you and all that you have left is your pride. Although employees need money to pay their bills, you need them to not only pay the business overhead but your personal bills as well.

Intimidation Doesn’t Equal Success - This doesn’t mean that you should let insubordinate behavior continue from unruly employees. No, they still need to know that you are in command. However, you don’t need to have an attitude that intimidates those around you. No one wants to feel intimidated whether it’s at home or in the workplace. What can you do to help relax those around you?

  • Learn to have fun with your employees.
  • Learn to laugh at your own mistakes – accept responsibility for your own actions as a leader.
  • Provide a positive atmosphere by being more energetic yourself.
  • Realize that without them, your business will truly suffer.

Show Leniency - Don’t be afraid to let someone go, but make sure it’s for the right reasons. A low tolerance for mistakes could be extremely detrimental to your goals in the long run. When you let an employee go, you will need to compensate for:

  • Lost man-hours due to an unfilled position.
  • Reduced overall efficiency in the workplace because the position you need filled is open.
  • Lost man-hours due to training a new employee.
  • Lost man-hours due to that new employee not performing at his or her full potential yet.

Letting someone go causes a slight ripple effect business wide. You should be firm, but be open to the fact that nobody is perfect.

No Fear Mongering - Many employers mistake fear for respect. As the economy is performing so poorly at the moment, many are worried about losing their jobs. It is this fear that motivates a lot of people. Your employees should want to do a good job for you because they respect your leadership, not fear what you can do.

When the dust settles, it all boils down to the fact that you need the employees more than they need you. Even if the economy is still in a bad position, there are other potential employer candidates to apply for. Treat your employees well, knowing that without them you will ultimately fail your organization as a leader.

Question: How do you remind your employees how important they are to you?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://theregoi.com/ floyd

    I agree that the goal of an employer and employee should be a win/win arrangement. Depending on someone’s position and perspective would determine if one party is more needed than the other. That said, I agree completely with all the other aspects of your approach to business and telling them they’re doing a good job and having a goal and fun is key, but in the end, to borrow a worn out adage, “money talks”.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Yes, “money does talk.” We have to support but also make sure our people are delivering results. It’s a great balance. Thank you for sharing your wisdom with us.

  • http://kimanziconstable.com/ kimanzi constable

    I don’t have employees but would have appreciated this post back in the day when I was one. Great stuff Ken!

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Yes, Ken wrote a fantastic post that every manager should read. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com/ Lincoln Parks

    I don’t have employees but I do have team members. I show them how Important they are to me by just listening to them. Not specifically all about business but about anything that comes up. I just want to be a listening ear for them.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Listening is so important. Thank you for reading and adding to the conversation.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I like your last point, Ken, about not mistaking fear for respect. It may be quite Machiavellian to strike fear into the hearts of your employees, but it’s probably not the most conducive to a truly productive workplace.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I totally agree, I think the wrong kind of fear can harm a workplace. Thank you for taking the time to comment.

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    There is a lot to be said about making the right hire in the first place. However, we definitely need to be very good about recognizing the type of behavior we want to see.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      I totally agree, the right hires will allow us to not need to fire as much. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

  • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

    Your point about fear resonated with me. This line, “Many employers mistake fear for respect.” especially since I knew an employer like this. He honestly didn’t seem to care about his employees. Part of his strategy was to instill fear in them that they would be let go. To this day I don’t see what it could possibly have accomplished. Well, it did do one thing: it made his employees extremely dislike him. I’m sure that wasn’t his goal, but that’s what happened. That’s not a good thing to have in your employees at all.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      It’s difficult to gain trust and influence through that type of fear. Thank you for sharing about your life experience.