Valuable Insights for Today's Leaders
An email conversation with one of my readers narrowed the gap in our views because we listened to each other and acknowledged each other’s points even when we did not necessarily agree with them. We are all patriots. We need to talk to each other and not at each other about issues impacting our nation.
Quoting Steve Jobs, “I’ve never found anyone who has said no or hung up the phone when I called [to ask for help]. I just asked. … Most people never ask. And that’s what separates the people that do things from the people that just dream about them. You gotta act. And you gotta be willing to fail.”
LNG released during a derailment is not only highly flammable, but also can be explosive, risking a catastrophe to people, property and the environment. There are over 1,000 train derailments each year. When the risk is small, but the result of a derailment could be catastrophic, you don’t take the risk.
A lesson for all leaders: Watch what you say and how you say it. It impacts how you are viewed by your employees, and what you say might wind up on social media for the world to see.
The GOP used to be the party of limited government interference in the affairs of individuals and companies. No longer. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a possible Republican nominee for the presidency in 2024, is playing to the GOP’s base. Is DeSantis ignoring swing voters? Time will tell.
Starbucks employee unionization efforts are a lesson for all companies. Listen to the concerns of your employees. Create an environment in which employees develop a feeling of ownership in what they do at the company. Do so before a movement to unionize occurs.
Recognize that your employees are your most valuable asset. Quoting Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” Branson also said, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
When faced with challenges and adversity, remember Eric Little’s statement in the film Chariots of Fire, “So where does the power come from to see the race to its end? From within.” After you look into the deep, dark abyss, it becomes your finest hour, and you emerge stronger than before.
Don’t emulate Google and other tech companies. Avoid terminations en mass. Evaluate employee performance and the staffing needs of your company and make changes on an ongoing basis. Inform each employee who is about to be terminated individually. How you handle terminations is a reflection of you as a leader.
How will a front-line customer-facing employee react in a volatile situation with a customer? They will fall back on their experiences, emotional intelligence, common sense and good critical judgment to defuse the situation.
It’s up to the boards and CEOs of railroads to change their mindsets and recognize that they need to be on a mission critical journey to eliminate derailments. Practically, zero derailments will not be achieved, but that needs to be the goal.
The best way to communicate verbally or in writing is to put yourself in the place of the intended audience and ask yourself how you would like to receive the information. Too many people don’t consider this, and it hurts their ability to effectively communicate what they are trying to say.