The Common Denominators

By Dave Ramsey

Building a team of hard-working, creative, go-getters seems like a distant dream for some small business owners. Sometimes, even trying to get someone to close the office and lock up properly at night can seem like a pipe dream. The good news, though, is it doesn’t have to be this way.

Inspiring a team to follow you and do their absolute best is often not about money or control. It’s about quality leadership. With that in mind, here are some guiding principles I believe world-class leaders live by.

Make your vision known early and often
If you work for something bigger than yourself, you play harder and smarter. The same will hold true for your team. Most people will work harder (and better) when what they do is infused with a sense of purpose.

Tell your team what they’re working for and why. You can start with something as simple as a short email. Keep it short, insightful, and from the heart.

Praise and recognition
Let your team members know it when they’re doing a good job. Sincere and specific compliments are unusual in most workplace environments today, and this will set you apart. Or, take a few minutes and write a personal note. These simple gestures can create magic!

Surround yourself with greatness
It doesn’t matter if you are trying to fill a minimum-wage job, or selecting a new leader for your company. Hold out for the perfect person. Having the right people in the right positions allows you to do your best work. Take plenty of time during the hiring process, and set your standards high.

No power trips
A boss has an iron grip on his team, expecting every employee to immediately jump at his command. Disobey, and you could be gone in an instant. A leader, however, realizes the only power they can use is persuasion.

Don’t boss people around. Instead, explain why you do what you do, and treat your team like the co-workers they are. You wouldn’t be anywhere without them!

Caring and respect
Your team members are not robots or faceless units of production. Every single one deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, and a caring heart. If you love your team well, and treat them like family, and they will act like family.

There is one simple rule we apply to everything we do at my company, and it’s something you can start using today — treat others the way you would like to be treated.

The key to becoming a great leader is serving your team, and everyone around you, by putting them first. If you do, you’ll be paid back in full with loyalty, hard work, and amazing results!

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