How Far Will You Go?

Are you willing to make the same sacrifices you are asking of your employees?

In the Dec 11th issue of USA Today, it stated that Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina would return her $625,000 bonus after the company announced last month that it would miss fourth-quarter earnings targets. Her management team also said they would return about $1 million in bonuses. Now that’s putting your money where your mouth is.

As you know, high tech companies in general have missed their projections and are now forced to make some cutbacks. Ms. Fiorina and her management team have clearly sent a signal to all employees that they will participate in helping to reduce costs and not just simply lay the total burden on the employees.

As you carry out your leadership duties, are your actions communicating the message to your employees that they should do as you tell them, or do what you are doing? The latter is obviously a more powerful message. For if you do not incorporate in your actions the requests you are making of your employees, then why should they follow your orders? They may follow them enough to keep their jobs. But they will probably also fall short in carrying out the requested actions to their fullest potential.

So every time you ask something of your employees, ask yourself if you are doing it also? As an example, great customer service does not start with the front line employees. It starts with senior management who do what it takes to empower and motivate their employees, who are then empowered and motivated to do what it takes to satisfy the customer.

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