Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 19 seconds
During a recent visit with a potential client they were clearly interviewing me when they asked this excellent question. They appreciated my attitude and eagerness to get the work.
“How do you pass your enthusiasm on to your staff?”
Wow, I had to stop and think.
“Well, I said, I meet with my employees regularly, I have lunch with them occasionally. I celebrate our success stories and share my BLOG.” That was my off the cuff answer. Realizing that I had just been given a pearl of wisdom, I later took the opportunity to explore the question further.
The way I took the question, my perspective clients were wondering if the emperor had any clothes. A keen observer of business often finds a charismatic leader without an enthusiastic or knowledgeable crew. This common mismatch is an accident looking for a place to happen.
That is when I realized that I had a bunch of additional ways of ensuring that I am being a good example to my people. For one thing, I seem to attract positive people to surround myself with. The Eeyore type folks just don’t fit. So, like Good to Great, I hire the right people and put them in the right places on the bus.
In many cases the companies leaders are so far removed from the front line that the culture is set by edict, decree, and a heavy handed top down way. I also have had the misfortune of working for companies that practiced this behavior, Thankfully, I had the means to move on.
All this thinking got me to explore the root of my enthusiasm.
As Eckhart Tolle says in his book “A new earth” my enthusiasm is deeply rooted in who I am and how I approach my life. I am alert and conscious about what I do. I find myself full of creative juices and in an effortless way, find abundant energy to do what I enjoy. I like to think I am a bit contagious in that way.
A story I like to relay is about three workers each doing the same mind numbing job of moving bricks. An observer asks each one separately “What are you doing?” The first who is struggling says “I am moving bricks” the second who is distracted and exhausted says “I am working until lunch” the third is happily working away and jovial says “I am helping to build a cathedral” I am that guy.
In the case of my company, Levco Builders all we do is remodel. It may seem menial and routine to some, but I can’t get enough of the stuff. I believe that my corporate culture is set by example. In my vision of a just culture everyone pulls together to create a product or service that is the result of cooperation and everyone’s best effort and talents.
For starters, I interview my staff and only chose the ones that I feel get it.
I realize that what makes an employee great for Levco is not something that can be taught.
What I want comes from the heart. The level of attention to detail, the way we show that we care, the way that we speak respectfully and treat others with kindness, the love for how we transform confused spaces into functional dwellings is amazing.
The fact that we work as a volunteer occasionally to remember how much helping others fills you up.
The willingness to grow and learn about new materials and techniques.
The fact that they realize that there are hundreds of ways to do the same thing. The Levco way is what we do, because until a better best practice shows up, is the standard that everyone is held accountable for.
That being wasteful hurts everyone.
- That successes are celebrated no matter what the scale.
- That communicating clearly is not something to be taken for granted.
- That an ounce of planning ahead can prevent a gallon of confusion and wasted time.
- That sharp tools makes for easier work.
- That everyone brings a unique perspective to the table.
- Staying organized saves time and aggravation.
- That a simple apology goes a long way to earning trust.
- That trust in others is something that I start with.
- We look out for each other and our clients, knowing full well that what is good for our clients is good for us.
- They understand that the better idea always wins no matter who it comes from.
- The fact that honesty and being up front is the how we roll.
- That it is in no one’s best interest to allow substandard work or bad behavior.