Having unshakable personal integrity, building meaningful relationships, and making meaningful contributions are imperatives we learn from family, friends, and colleagues.
Having self-awareness, humility, and patience are among the life-changing lessons of learning to be a parent and a team member (as well as a team leader since leadership is sometimes far easier than fellowship for many of us).
The other important qualities that define successful life, ultimately, or meaningful relationships and meaningful work. It will not be money or things or monuments by which we measure our lives at the end.
It will be whether we have created and maintained good, strong, meaningful relationships – from family and friends to colleagues and employees. It will be whether we have contributed in some life-improving way, some meaningful way, to our organizations and communities, in the world. The most important reason to participate in anything is to contribute…
Most organization charts have a guy at the top, and there’s a pyramid beneath him going down. Around ten or twelve years ago, I realized that the pyramid here had been inverted. Instead of me being on the top, I was on the bottom, and everyone else was on top. I now assume that I work for the employees. We grew as a business to the point where basically I’m working for them. I know they think they are working for me, but that’s not how I see it.
If I can provide capital, leadership, and a value system, and if the employees give it their best in terms of how to develop the business and how to satisfy the customers and exceed their expectations, then we will win.
That means you spend a lot of time training. That means you spend a lot of time putting seeds out in the field to grow later. That means you do things for people that don’t get you a dollar today but hopefully will build you a firm tomorrow.
Like many young entrepreneurs, when I first took over the company, I tended to use the “command-and-control” style of leadership. You can get results that way, but doesn’t do much for your own personal growth or those around you.