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Great Leadership Comes From Within, Here’s My Proof

Profile photo of Steve DiGioia Submitted by Steve DiGioia March 12, 2017

Since 2013 I’ve had the pleasure of being part of a wonderful organization, Bizcatalyst 360 led by Dennis Pitocco, where I am also a Featured Contributor and member of their “Thought Leadership” Panel. I get to interact and share ideas with a vast array of top leaders in their chosen field. There is no price that can be put on opportunities like these.

Leadership Comes From Within

Recently, Dennis asked the group to contribute our thoughts by answering 10 questions on leadership and how our leadership skills and mindset were formed. Below are my answers that I am happy to share with you.

How Do You Become a Better Leader?

1. Did anyone have a tremendous impact on your leadership journey and if so, how?

An old respected boss always told me “make it the best you can at all times”. Seems simple enough but too few follow this advice. Customers will notice and appreciate your efforts to provide the best products and services.

2. What are the most important decisions you make as a leader of an organization?

We must understand that…

>>> A good leader brings out the best in others so they may one day be a leader too. Click To Tweet

Each of us possesses skills that, if allowed to be used, will benefit all. The difficult part is recognizing the specific methods that work best when motivating others.

3. How do you encourage people to take control and responsibility?

I train my employees to “put yourself in the customer’s shoes”. If we wouldn’t be happy with the product or service we provide, how can we expect others to be happy with it? We are aware of our shortcomings and still “sell our product”. But, if the customer knew about it, would they be happy?

4. How do you help a new employee understand the culture of your organization?

I believe that, regardless of what we teach/share during the orientation process and initial training, an employee will learn the “true” culture of an organization from their coworkers.

The culture is often masked behind a series of statements, posters and platitudes that may not reflect the actual culture or mindset of employees. We must first create a foundation of excellence with existing employees so that all future employees will join a successful team.

5. When faced with two equally qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?

I look for passion. The candidate that can properly explain why they like their job and the feeling they get when they see others succeed will always get my vote. No matter what business you are in you are always in the “people business”. Those with passion AND compassion will usually do the best.

6. What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

>>>  Humility. A leader doesn’t know it all, even if he/she thinks they do. Click To Tweet

7. What is the biggest challenge facing leaders today?

Ego. Too many leaders believe their own hype and think leadership comes from the position/rank.

>>>  Leadership comes from the ability to motivate others Click To Tweet

…and carry on the same level of professionalism and quality when the leader is not present.

8. What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?

Forgetting that the customer is king. We wish to lead so we may earn a bigger paycheck or have more power and prestige within an organization. With leadership comes a certain removal from the day-to-day machinations of the business. Spending too much time focusing on budgets, payroll or market share, when the focus must continually be on the customer, is the surest way to failure.

9. What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Be humble, support and ask questions of your team and realize that you are only as good as those around you.

>>> Treat your employees with the respect they deserve and you will be well rewarded. Click To Tweet

10. How do you define leadership success?

When you develop other leaders who can take your place and carry on the great work you started.


I hope you enjoyed this little peak into my leadership mindset and what I try to instill in others. Thanks!

This post was originally featured on and is republished here with permission.

This post was originally published in by Steve DiGioia

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Profile photo of Steve DiGioia
As a customer service trainer, coach, author and speaker, I use my 20+ years of experience in the hospitality industry to help companies and their employees improve service, increase morale and provide the experience their customers’ desire. The best part of my job is changing the mindset of employees to become customer-first focused and developing their skills to make them the best they can be. My book “Earn More Tips On Your Very Next Shift…Even If You’re a Bad Waiter” is an easy-to-follow training method that can be used across all industries, resulting in better customer retention and repeat business for your company. It's the blueprint for teaching "WOW" customer service. I continue my original customer service, leadership and management-based writings on my blog and am a featured writer/contributor to many of the hospitality industry's leading publications such as eHotelier, Hotel F&B Observer, Hotel News Resource, Hotel-Online, Customer Think, Bizcatalyst 360, and many more.
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