I’ve heard Marty Weintraub of aimClear speak a number of times on web marketing topics. His energetic style and expertise are very enlightening, entertaining and inspiring. He’s a very smart guy and well worth paying attention to.
That he was also someone to admire for his leadership philosophy went unnoticed by me until last week when he published an article on the aimClear blog entitled “Manage Like You’re Dying: A Humbled Entrepreneur’s Reflections.” Go check it out, it is well worth reading.
I’ve long been an advocate of servant leadership. I believe in building a cohesive team and equipping the members of the team to do great things. Marty espouses this belief quite nicely in his post. It dovetails quite nicely with the methods Dave Ramsey teaches in his EntreLeadership training.
Note that just about every item in Marty’s list is about developing people and culture and not about formulas, procedures nor policies. If you spend time hiring and developing the right people, those other things will take care of themselves. Good people will do the right thing whether there’s a policy in place or not.
When I was a young man in the Army a very wise First Sergeant, Lonnie Bagwell, used to constantly drill into us: “An Noncommissioned Officer’s job is to take care of soldiers. If you don’t want to take care of soldiers then you need to find another line of work.”
His was a team-building concept built upon the fact that without a good team, missions would not be fulfilled and one’s life could ultimately be in jeopardy. That’s not to say there was no fooling around and joking around in our day to day activities. When it comes to wartime, however, things can get, quite literally, deadly serious.
We were taught that it was imperative we train those in our charge to take our place. This was not only important in battle, but in peacetime, too, since we often transferred after 2-3 years at a duty station. Someone needed to be ready to take over when necessary. We were also encouraged to find those young soldiers who showed leadership potential and start delegating things to them. Developing leaders was key to a successful unit and the overall success of the Army.
In business, things aren’t normally so life and death. Still, building a great team can mean the difference between having a good or great organization and even between success or failure. I think Marty’s wisdom on this topic is well worth keeping in mind for any leader.
What about you? What do you think of Marty’s ideas? Do you have anything you would add or take away? Instead of commenting here, please comment and add to the discussion already happening on Marty’s post page.