Five Core Values of Great Leaders

Key Principles That Will Get Your Team to Follow You Anywhere

By Dave Ramsey

  For many small business owners, building a team of creative,  passionate team members seems like a distant dream—something they’ll never be  able to achieve. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Inspiring a team to follow you is not about the money or tight control.  It’s about leadership. So what makes a great leader? Here are four guiding  principles that some of the best of the best—including Dave—live by.

1.  Love Your Team

Your team members are not units of production. They are people who all  have hopes, dreams, fears and struggles. And every single one deserves to be  treated with respect, dignity and a caring heart. “Love your team well; treat  them like family, and they will act like family,” Dave says.

2.  Give Praise

Start making a habit of catching people doing something right, and let  them know about it. A sincere compliment is so unusual that it immediately sets  you apart. A simple nod or smile showing your approval will do. Or take a few  minutes and write a personal note. How about recognizing them in front of their  peers? These simple gestures can create magic in a matter of moments and can  easily be started today.

3.  Seldom Use Your Power

A boss has an iron grip on his team, expecting every employee to  immediately jump at his command. He has more rules than Stalin and spends all of  his time ensuring that his mandates are followed. Workers know “the boss” holds  all the cards. Disobey, and you could be gone in an instant.

A leader, however, realizes the only power they can use is persuasion.  As Dave says, “If you want employees, then boss them around; if you want team  members, explain why you do what you do … Don’t lead with threats and fear.”

4.  Surround Yourself With Rock Stars

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to fill a minimum-wage job  or selecting a new leader for your company, hold out for the absolute perfect  person. Having the right people in the right positions allows you to do your best  work. So take plenty of time, set your standards high, and keep crazy out of  the building.

At Dave’s company, each prospective team member goes through at  least four interviews, including one with his/her spouse. They are also  required to send us a personal budget and take a personality test to make sure  their style fits with the job.

5.  Cast Your Vision

Dave has learned that if you play for something bigger than yourself,  you play much harder and smarter. And the same holds true for his team. They  work harder because there’s a sense of calling.

So how do you let your team know they are doing something important? Repeatedly  tell them what they’re working for and why. Share your vision early and often.

The key to becoming a great leader is serving your team and everyone  around you by putting them first. If you do, you’ll be paid back in full with  loyalty, hard work and extraordinary results.

About Dave
America’s  trusted voice on money and business, Dave Ramsey is a personal money-management  expert and extremely popular national radio personality. In the fall, his  latest book, EntreLeadership, debuted at number one on the New  York Times best-seller list. Through the book and live events, Dave  teaches entrepreneurs from all over the country how to take their businesses to  the next level through the principles and beliefs that helped build his  organization to more than 300 team members in less than two decades.

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