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.
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.
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…
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?
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.
…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.
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 Stevedigioia.com/blog and is republished here with permission.