For many small-business owners, building a team of creative, passionate, hardworking go-getters seems like a distant dream—something they’ll never be able to achieve. Heck, trying to get someone to even properly lock up at night seems nearly impossible. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Inspiring a team to follow you and do their absolute best is not about the money or tight control. It’s about leadership. So what makes a great leader? Here are five guiding principles that some of the best of the best—including Dave—live by.
1. Love Your Team
Your team members are not units of production. Every single one deserves to be treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. “Love your team well; treat them like family, and they will act like family,” Dave says.
How to Start Now: Not sure how to begin? There is one simple rule we apply to everything we do. And it’s something you can start using today. Follow the Golden Rule: Do to others as you would have them do to you.
2. Give Praise
Make a habit of catching people doing something right and letting them know about it. A sincere and specific compliment is so unusual that it immediately sets you apart.
How to Start Now: A simple nod or smile showing your approval is worth the world to most of us, so take a few minutes a week to walk around your company and find awesome. Or take a few minutes and write a personal note. These simple gestures can create magic in a matter of moments.
3. Seldom Use Your Power
A boss has an iron grip on his team, expecting every employee to immediately jump at his command. He has more rules than Stalin. Disobey, and you could be gone in an instant.
A leader, however, realizes the only power they can use is persuasion. Don’t boss people around. Instead, explain why you do what you do.
How to Start Now: Become a member of All Access. Our online leadership coaching program and community gives you the tools you need to grow yourself, your team and your business.
4. Surround Yourself With Rock Stars
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to fill a minimum-wage job or selecting a new leader for your company. Hold out for the absolute perfect person. Having the right people in the right positions allows you to do your best work. So take plenty of time, set your standards high, and keep crazy out of the building.
At Dave’s company, each prospective team member goes through at least four interviews, including one with his/her spouse. They are also required to send us a personal budget and take a personality test to make sure their style fits with the job.
How to Start Now: One of the best sources for recruiting awesome new staff members is through your team. Let them know you are looking for new hires and only send their rock-star friends your way. Crazies are not allowed. Offer a cash bounty for each referral that leads to a successful hire. So what does that look like? We use 90 days as our marker. If the new person makes it past the three-month probationary period, they’re officially part of our team.
Related: Check out 12 steps to a good hire.
5. Cast Your Vision
If you play for something bigger than yourself, you play much harder and smarter. And the same holds true for his team. They work harder because there’s a sense of calling.
How to Start Now: Beginning today, repeatedly tell your team what they’re working for and why. You can start with an email to send to everyone. Keep it short, sweet and from the heart. No one wants to read War and Peace at work. Then, share your vision early and as often as possible.
The key to becoming a great leader is serving your team and everyone around you by putting them first. If you do, you’ll be paid back in full with loyalty, hard work and extraordinary results.
When you lead well, your team will naturally follow. But that’s not always easy to do. So why not learn from the best at EntreLeadership Summit? Join Dave, along with nine of the top leadership experts in the world, May 20–23, in San Antonio, Texas. Learn more or call 800.211.0294 to request more information.