(Originally published at http://www.baeronmarketing.com/blog/what-makes-a-real-leader)
Tony Rush, one of the leaders in an organization I'm actually it with, often likes to say that your organization is a leadership factory disguised as a business opportunity. That sentiment was reinforced a hundred fold for me over the past few days during a company conference for that origination.
But what I really took away from many discussions we had on leadership was the fact that there are different kinds of leaders.
I'll give you an example. You probably know the great Jack Welch, former head of General Electric and a man who has been hailed as one of the greatest organizational leaders of the 20th century. Well let's contrast him with Jim Sinegal, who headed Costco during the same time that well was at the helm of his company. Welch was the darling of the boardroom, consistently shaving the bottom 10% of his organization's payroll, while Sinegal leading organization where the employees were paid twice with their counterparts made at Walmart... and Sinegal's on salary was famously tied to that of the lowest paid employee, earning him only a fraction of what other CEOs at major corporations were paid.
Welch's decisions were aimed at Wall Street, while Sinegal's were a philosophically driven statement about the value of his employees and their importance in his organization. Which one is the real leader?
If I've learned nothing else over the course of these past several days, I certainly learned what kind of leaders my organization has… that they lead by example… and that there example informs the way I want to lead others as well.
We heard the concepts "lead with value" and "give without expectation" A lot during this conference. A lot of organizations use that sort of verbage these days, but when it comes down to it they have trouble reconciling the desire to deliver value and the underlying need to make sales.
I'm so proud to be part of an organization which has figured out the formula for enabling these two necessary components to coexist happily.
If this sort of leadership inspires you, and you have a desire to be a part of an organization whose focus is to bring value to you and your customers, click here to learn how you can join me in this leadership factory disguised as business opportunity.