23. May 2020

21 tips for leaders

By Riccardo Giacometti

Leading people is a true art, especially in difficult situations like the one we are facing now. Now, one has to be able to deal with different personalities, backgrounds, educational levels, and motivations. Also, you have to deal with uncertainty, anxiety, and stress that comes with it. The balance between rules, regulations, and top service is hard. 

“All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” — John Kenneth Galbraith

In the following, you will find a few tips from my mentors that have been passed to me. These measures have led all the respective companies to success, and they are particularly valuable during this time. Therefore, I am happy to share them with you:

1. Do not hide anything from the team, and be open and honest. Especially in uncertain times, employees must be able to rely on you, and you must build up trust more effectively. Employees will go through thick and thin with you if they trust you as a leader. 

“To add value to others, one must first value others.” — John Maxwell

2. Be patient! Take care of your employees! With patience, you create trust. And with trust, you create a good, mutually beneficial relationship.

“To do great things is difficult; but to command great things is more difficult.” — Friedrich Nietzsche

3. Hire only the best. Surround yourself with people who are smarter and better than you are. Then give these people clear visions and guidelines and tell them what you expect from them. Next, step aside and let them do their jobs. Always be responsive and provide support and assistance. Motivate them to think for themselves, encourage creativity, and take calculated risks that are worthwhile. 

 “Don’t tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” — George S. Patton Jr.

4. Never shy away from asking your team for advice. As a leader, you do not see everything, and it is good to know the perspective of the employees at the front line. You will be surprised what new ideas they come up with.

“People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision.” — John C. Maxwell

5. Do not be afraid to make mistakes. But remember to learn from them.

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” — Winston Churchill

6. It is not about you! Tell yourself that every day! “It’s not about me.” It’s not about being the boss and having the last word. It’s about your team and about improving your organization. The boss is the one who recognizes the needs of his team and removes obstacles. And don’t take yourself so seriously! Without you, it all works out just fine. But things may not progress as smoothly without a well-functioning team. 

“The highest of distinctions is service to others.” — King George VI

7. Hire good people, treat them well, and give them support. Give them the freedom to develop because these people will drive you to success. Remember, it’s not about you!

“No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it.” — Andrew Carnegie

8. Lead by example. Employees register everything! A role model puts themself behind and sticks to all the rules. 

“Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right thing.” –Peter F. Drucker

9. Keep distance but be close. Managers must be close enough to their employees to build a good relationship — but far away enough to motivate them.

true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.” –Douglas MacArthur.

10. Look out for trends. Always look at where the hospitality industry is heading, not where it already is.

Don’t follow the crowd, let the crowd follow you.” — Margaret Thatcher

11. Check what you expect from your people (following the motto: trust is good, control is better — but in a positive sense).

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” — Stephen Covey

12. Hand over work and responsibilities, support your employees in their work, and let them show you their results.

“A good leader takes a little more than his share of the blame, a little less than his share of the credit.” — Arnold Glasow

13. Roll up your sleeves and get fully involved in the daily operations yourself.

“A leader is not an administrator who loves to run others, but someone who carries water for his people so that they can get on with their jobs.” — Robert Townsend

14. It’s simple: treat your employees the way you want to be treated.

“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

15. Listen carefully. Then make a clear, quick decision!

“I can give you a six-word formula for success: Think things through–then follow through.” — Edward Rickenbacker

16. Hire the best department heads. This is because as a boss, you can’t be everywhere. A good leader hires the very best people for the job and lets them go for it. This is the only way a team can be successful. There are supposed to be bosses who will never hire people who know more than they do so that they will always be superhuman. Please do not make this mistake.

“The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.” — Ralph Nader

17. Make sure that everyone understands your company’s goals and embrace them. Get rid of those employees who do not want to or cannot do this.

“The task of the leader is to get their people from where they are to where they have not been.” — Henry Kissinger

18. Thank your employees for their good work, and they will work even harder for you.

“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

19. Listen to your gut. Sometimes, it is louder. And sometimes, it is quieter. But it will always guide you in the right direction and lead to good personnel decisions. If you have a bad feeling, then listen to that inner voice. And even if the new employee’s references and credentials are top-notch, don’t hire them.

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

20. Treat your employees like independent subcontractors. Give them responsibilities and check the results.

“Leadership is the art of giving people a platform for spreading ideas that work.” — Seth Godin

21. Always be fair but also firm. An employee who is treated like this knows where they stand. It gives them certain security, and they will feel comfortable.

Earn your leadership every day.” — Michael Jordan

Please write in the comments below what other tips you have.

Resources for the quotes: