GROWING YOUR BUSINESS: What kind of a leader are you?

by Dan Beaulieu
Business consultant

What kind of leader are you? No matter if you have three employees or 30, or 300, your job is to not only lead them, but to be the best leader you can be.

How about you? Are you a great leader? Do you inspire your people?

Recently, I read a story about General Earl Hailston, the commanding general of Marine Forces Central Command. The general was interviewed while he and his troops were a few miles from the border of Iraq ready to go into battle.

At that time General Hailston was the only general in the armed forces who enlisted and came up through the ranks. This general was known for his humble and caring attitude.

The general was being interviewed by Charlie Gibson who was there with him near Iraq. When Gibson asked him if he had any hobbies outside of work. The general said. “Yes, I love photography, especially taking photos of my men.” He shared that while he had been waiting for the past few days , he would take photos of his men, and at night he would email the photos with a brief note to their mothers back in the United States.

Gibson asked if he could see a sample of a letter and the general walked into his tent and turned on his computer.

Here is the letter he showed Charlie Gibson:

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

I thought you might enjoy seeing this picture of your son.

He is doing great. I also wanted you to know that you did a wonderful job of raising him, you must be very proud.

I can certainly tell you that I’m honored to serve with him on the U.S. Marines.

General Earl Hailston.

Great story, right? You can bet that his troops were glad to follow the general onto the battlefield.

What kind of leader are you? Do you inspire your workers? Do you make sure that they will follow you no matter what?

No matter what business you’re in, big or small, you should always thrive to be a great leader. And to help you, here are five things that great leaders always do:

  • Leaders lead by example. They never expect their team members do anything they would not do themselves.
  • Great team leaders are encouragers. They encourage their team members to be the best they can be.
  • Leaders inspire. They are creatively inspiring, always finding new ways to get their teams inspired to go one more inch, one more foot, one more mile.
  • Leaders are secure enough to look for and hire people who are smarter, more skilled, more driven, more talented, and more passionate than they are. People who are just plain better than they are.
  • Leaders can see the entire team as one working unit. They choose people who might be mediocre on another team but have a certain ability that will make them shine as an integral part of their team.

And one more, always under promise and over deliver. Leaders believe in their team and its ability to succeed, and that they never quit. No matter what the odds they keep moving forward. They realize that people don’t fail. They just stop trying.

Remember, being a great leader is the best way to inspire your team to be the best they can be. And, of course, the better they are, the better they will perform and that’s the best way to grow your business.


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