31 Jul

Engage Employees to Elevate Your Leadership!

Engage Employees to Elevate Your Leadership!

Great generals take extraordinary care of their soldiers. But those we don’t remember except in terms of stupendous losses only watched out for themselves. Here are some tips to follow to guarantee that you and your legacy are remembered for all the right reasons:

Cultivate One Healthy Fear

Remember bosses who were aloof, grumpy, and impossible to please? They criticize everyone else when things go wrong and horde all the credit if something goes right. Leaders should be fearless – with one exception. You need to be scared to death of becoming one of those notoriously self-absorbed bosses!

Don’t ever think that you’re immune. That’s the first symptom of a blind spot in your leadership vision. As it is written: Pride goeth before destruction, and an aloof spirit before the fall.

To Give Them Reasons to Stay Offer Them Ways to Give!

Employees come to a job, organization, or career to try to make a living. But why do you stay and invest yourself with 100 percent engagement? A wise person once said employees JOIN because of what they can GET but they STAY because of what they can GIVE.

But you may be asking “What do I do to engage my employees?

The answer will come to you if you stop thinking of yourself as different from them, because we’re all employees. Even if you own your own company as I do you’re working for the company – which is a kind of employment.

Attention All Leaders! Facilitate the Careers of Others!

Getting into the heads of your employees isn’t rocket science. All it takes is some personal introspection. If you want to know what motivates employees ask the worker that you know best, namely YOURSELF. What do YOU want out of your career and from your organization?

You probably want a chance to prove yourself and earn more. You want your ideas heard and acted upon when they’re valuable. Above all you want to make a better life for yourself and your loved ones. Are you making sure that your employees are getting that under your command? If not you’re failing them and they will start looking for another job and a new leader.

Employment Doesn’t Guarantee Engagement

In many Fortune 500 companies as many as 30 percent or more of the people on the payroll are actively looking for work elsewhere. That means that for every dollar you spend in wages you may be getting 70 cents worth of engaged effort. Keep doing that for a few years and the company will be bankrupt.

You may be the corner office executive today. But if your troops abandon you then you’ll be demoted faster than you can say “mail room.” You’ll be standing in the unemployment line wondering what went wrong and wishing you had paid more attention to the needs of your employees.

But Engagement Ensures Employment and Enjoyment!

You’ve heard the adage that if you love your job you’ll never have to work a day in your life because it won’t be work, it will be pleasure. Create that culture in your organization and you’ll become an iconic leader.

Instead of employee turnover, attrition, and lack of performance being the big problem you’ll be faced with the challenge of how to keep so many active, passionate people busy. They’ll also be recruiting others to leave your competitors and come and work for you. If that doesn’t spell spectacular leadership success I don’t know what does!

Honor Your Own Leaders

Now think of those memorable and valued leaders in your life. What was it about them that earned your respect? How did they keep you motivated despite your reluctance to push forward through difficult times and against seemingly impossible odds?

If they’re still around, take a moment to write and thank them. Tell them how even today they still help inspire you!

Please put your employee’s careers first as their leader. I guarantee that your success will follow. Trust me on this. When all your employees and teams are flying high your own career is guaranteed to soar!


As a pioneering and visionary innovator, Sarah is a certified professional image consultant and brand strategist, speaker, trainer and author. Her company, Illustra Consulting, provides leading-edge image and brand management strategies for top leaders and high achievers who wish to take their career to the next level. She also delivers innovative and inspiring corporate workshops to assist large organizations in strengthening their corporate brand.

Illustra Consulting
Copyright © 2012, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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