Valuable Insights for Today's Leaders

Lessons from the drive to unionize Starbucks

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.

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We should all practice the human side of leadership

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.”

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Tech companies need to avoid en masse terminations

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.

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The Philadelphia Eagles are in the Super Bowl for one simple reason — they hired the right people

What lessons for all organizations does the Eagles’ success demonstrate? Jim Collins in his iconic leadership book “Good to Great” was right when he wrote, “[Get] the right people on the bus (and the wrong people off the bus).” Hire the right people. You won’t regret the money you spend to do so. Paraphrasing Collins, the right people will take your organization someplace great.

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Are Elon Musk and Steve Jobs good examples on how to lead?

Musk and Jobs can be described as visionaries. I doubt that the leaders reporting to them would tolerate working for an autocrat and being micromanaged if, unlike Tesla and Apple, the company lacked the ‘cool factor” and didn’t produce inspiring widgets that change the world. Musk and Jobs are outliers—they are unique. Learn from and emulate them, without adopting the negative aspects of their leadership styles.

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