The Best Leaders Know How to
Serve and Direct their Employees Best
Happy Employees More Productive?
been said that “nice guys finish last,” but in today’s
corporate world that theory is just not true. In fact, the companies
who are known for treating their employees well – UPS, Fed
Ex, General Mills, and event Yahoo - are the frontrunners in today’s
“Great companies realize that employees are their most important
resource,” says Ed Rehkopf, author of Leadership on the Line
– A Guide For Front Line Supervisors, Business Owners, and
Emerging Leaders. “They foster a leadership style that motivates
leaders to serve their employees as well as their customers. This
approach to leadership creates relationships – the deep and
abiding bonds that sustain the efforts of the company.”
This outward focus of the leader sets up a dynamic where:
· Employees are continually recognized.
· There is an open flow of ideas, opinions, and information.
· Initiative and risk are highly regarded.
· Problem discovery and solution is a focus while placing
blame is unimportant.
· Every employee feels energized and part of the team and
is valued for his or her contribution.
· Prestige is derived from performance and contribution,
not title or position.
· Customers are treated well because employees are treated
· The energy and initiative of all employees is focused on
the common effort.
It is in the best interest of a leader to be as supportive of employees
as possible. The ultimate concern is satisfying the customer and
how employees are treated has an immediate and direct bearing on
how customers are treated. Employees who feel good about themselves,
whose welfare and problems are attended to in a supportive way,
who are provided with the right tools and training to do their jobs,
will continually and enthusiastically communicate their satisfaction
in countless small but vitally important ways.
“Being the best leader is an evolutionary process. No one
is perfect,” says Rehkopf. “The gradual understanding
of what makes people tick, of what motivates and de-motivates, of
what does and doesn’t work, will eventually develop into a
storehouse of common sense proven to be successful.”
“The accumulated wisdom should bring a leader to a state of
profound humility. What gets accomplished is not so much a result
of your efforts, but the efforts of your willing and committed employees.
Your singular role is to articulate the vision and stand aside while
coaching and cheerleading.”
“Thinking about this, points directly and dramatically to
where you should focus your attention, not inwardly on yourself
and your ambitions, but outwardly on the quality of your interactions
on the Line
A Guide for Front Line Supervisors, Business Owners, and
By Ed Rehkopf
171 pp., hard cover $19.95 US
Clarity Publications, 2006
Available at www.probizcom.com
Ed Rehkopf is a graduate
of the U.S. Military Academy and received a Masters of Professional
Studies degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell’s School
of Hotel Administration. During his long and varied career, he has
managed two historic, university-owned hotels, worked at four-star
desert resort, served as Director of Operations at a regional hotel
chain, opened two golf and country clubs, and worked in golf course
Event Management Services, Inc.