Monday, September 24, 2012

Leading By Example

I was listening to this Pastor on the radio talking about character.  If you want to instill values into your kids, look at YOUR values.  How do you react when something bad happens?  That is how you are teaching them to react.  Are you generous with your time and money?  That is how you are teaching them to react.

For me, I was lucky.  I had a dad that was a great business leader.  He created an incredible company and culture.  When he sent me out to California to run a company that he had purchased, I ran the company very similar to the way that he ran the company.  I loved my people and tried to provide opportunities to those who showed initiative.  I tried to talk straight to my people about my expectations for them and the company.  I tried to treat the manufacturers we represented as partners.

This past weekend Mirabella Beauty had our show at the SalonCentric show in Counsel Bluffs, IA.  We do 14 of these shows a year.  We take 40' X 10' booth space and we try to make a BIG impression!  These shows are our biggest branding events for the company.  But we are a small company so we have to do a great job with limited resources.

Mirabella Beauty makeup artist team!
That means we do it all!  We don't hire a team of people to set it up.  Our team of makeup artists do all the work.  They are amazing.

And I attend half of these events each year as well.  Our people are always happy to see me.  And I think our people are always surprised that I do all the grunt work too.

In that I have been in the business for a long time, I have lots of friends at these shows.  And they are always surprised that I do all the grunt work too.

But to me, that is what it means to lead by example.  You cannot expect your people to do things that you are not willing to do on your own.  I know there is nothing special about this advise.  However, based upon the reaction from people, they don't think the boss should actually work.

The big winner is not my employees because they get help. I am the big winner by all that I learn from clients, our team, other vendors, and sales people.   Another huge side benefit is that your people are more loyal to you.  They know you understand how hard it is to be at a trade show to set up, work it, and then take it all down again.

I don't actually do this though!  We tried it on one client, but we still have to settle that lawsuit... malpractice insurance for makeup application?!  Yes, that is NOT my strong suit...