What is good leadership? It starts with leading by example. Don't expect your staff to do something if you're not doing it yourself. Absolutely every single thing you ask or require of your staff you must also be willing to do yourself. This doesn't mean you need to do their jobs, but it does mean you should know how to and you should be willing to pitch in when necessary. It also means you need to abide by all of the same rules, and you must be consistent. Many owners try to justify their bad behavior by telling me, "Yeah, but I am the boss." But all that their employees see is a boss who is lazy and two-faced. You can't exempt yourself just because you're in charge.
-Tabatha Coffey, Own It!
Constantly query employees. As a leader, you have to keep your ear to the ground and listen for the sound of complaints from your staff. It helps to have a process in place to root out process problems and then follow up to make sure they're resolved.
-Lee Cockerell, Creating Magic
A top executive in a public relations firm has a favorite saying for clients who are at a loss about what to reveal: "When all else fails, try the truth." In business, as in life, telling the truth—no matter the short-term consequences—is far more beneficial than getting caught in a deception. People are generally forgiving, almost to a fault. But deceive them and they will remember it for a long, long time. "Try the truth" applies to everyone in the workplace: the boss, the manager, the new employee, the client, the contractor.
- Emily Post's The Etiquette Advantage in Business
We are in the business of taking care of people. It doesn't matter if you're a doctor, a nurse, or a janitor or if you carry a leadership title, we all must champion and execute on the common goal of coming in every day to make sure we take care of our next patient.
-Dr. David Feinberg, former CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, quoted in Prescription for Excellence