“Your competition can copy every advantage you’ve got – except one. That’s why the world’s best companies are realizing that no matter what business they’re in, their real business is building leaders.”
—Geoff Colvin

Dear Leaders,

Building leaders builds success. Simply stated, without strong leadership you won’t have a strong company, you won’t consistently achieve your goals, you won’t have a content workforce, and you won’t grow your bottom line. Yet, how many of us make it a priority to invest in ourselves and members of our leadership team? How many of us even know what to invest in?

We’ve talked a lot about the need for trust in leaders and it’s no coincidence there’s a link between trust and ideal companies to work for.

Fortune magazine partnered with the Great Place To Work Institute and identified the top 100 companies to work for.  Did you know two thirds of the score was related to a trust index? Included were detailed questions about management’s credibility, job satisfaction, and camaraderie. The other third of the scoring was related to pay, benefits, hiring practices, communication, training, recognition, and diversity efforts. (Results for the top 100 companies may be found in the February 7th, 2001 issue of Fortune magazine).

Here’s a brief synopsis of what employees from the top 100 companies stated were critical for success:

  • Treating employees right
  • Employees love having their job and being part of “x”
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Focus on morale
  • Community spirit –  local volunteering and helping other employees during a crisis
  • Employee focused culture = high returns for investors
  • Growth and development
  • Smile and have fun
  • Diversity and reputation
  • Hardworking, honest, ethical
  • Flexible work schedules

As development plans are being completed now would be a good time to solicit feedback from your employees to see how you and your leadership team rate.  Some of the items on the list above may be out of your control, but minimally you could request input related to credibility, treatment of employees, job satisfaction, morale, diversity, communication, training, recognition, reputation, and levels of honesty and ethics.

Once this important information is obtained you can identify your focus areas, update development plans accordingly, and begin to build a stronger leadership team.

Remember, building leaders builds success!