LESSON #13: Be accessible. It always cracks me up when I hear, "Wow, you answered the phone," or, "I didn't expect Neil to call me back." If my phone rings, I answer it. If I need to make a customer service call, I do it. The same goes for employees. If they need me, I'm there for them. The only reason to ever close my office door is when I'm on a coaching call. Being accessible has everything to do with culture building.
LESSON #14: Don’t take yourself too seriously. Laugh and have fun. Leaders don’t have to play that role 24/7/365.
LESSON #15: It’s OK to obsess. As a leader, there are certain things I choose to obsess over. I obsess over my company's brand image. I obsess over the quality of service and experience we deliver. I obsess over my writing. I obsess over delivering my message in a keynote. Obsessing over certain things is my way of raising the bar for my company and myself. I'm really OK with my obsessing. I wish more leaders obsessed over what's really important.
LESSON #16: Numbers tell the truth. Numbers tell the truth about how your company is doing, where you are strong and where you are weak. Knowing the truth forces better and tougher decisions.
LESSON #17: Don’t run out of cash. As an entrepreneur, I know what happens when my company runs out of cash. I get to sacrifice my paycheck to ensure that my employees get theirs. I get to borrow money on my home to fund the company. I don't need any additional motivation than this to manage cash flow.
LESSON #18: Protect the culture. In my No-Compromise Leadership book, I wrote, "The ultimate responsibility of the no-compromise leader is to protect the integrity of the company's culture." Allowing any form of contamination to infect is a compromise.
LESSON #19: You can overcome depression. Depression got the best of me in 2007. Can't explain it. Don't understand it. To this day, the experience of depression seems surreal to me. I took three months off, starting working out and doing distance riding. I returned to Strategies with renewed determination and the self-confidence to lead my company through anything the business gods can throw at it. No compromise.
LESSON #20: Do what you love, for as long as you can!
For more information on Strategies visit www.strategies.com.