Leading The Way

 Leading The Way


In a previous post, “Do the Right Thing”, I talked about the tone at the top set by leadership which sometimes can fade the focus on the bottom line.  A good example of a company setting the tone at the top and taking a stand on health is pharmacy chain, CVS.  In a brave move, CVS stopped the sale of tobacco products on September 3rd.  It is estimated the decision will cost the company an estimated $2 billion annually, or about 15% of annual revenue.

Larry J. Merlo, CEO of CVS Health, said, “By eliminating cigarettes and tobacco products from sale in our stores, we can make a difference in the health of all Americans.”

CVS Health is clearly leading the way on this one.  It will be interesting to see if its competitors follow suit.



Empowerment Sign
A leader is great, not because of his power, but because of his ability to empower. —–John C. Maxwell

Empowerment happens when leaders share information, rewards, and power with employees so that they can take initiative and make decisions to solve problems and improve service and performance.  Empowerment is based on the idea that giving employees skills, resources, authority, opportunity, and motivation, as well as holding them responsible and accountable for outcomes of their actions, will contribute to their competence and satisfaction.  As a leader, when I remove the attention from myself and put it on the people I am leading then great things happen.   Achieving the objective is more important than dictating how to achieve the objective.   It is important to remember to trust the people who you are leading and let them impress you.

Lead By Example


When I read this quote I think of leading by example.  Good leaders must lead by example. By walking your talk, you become a person others want to follow. I try not to ask the people I am leading to do something without providing them an example to go by.  I believe in rolling up your sleeves and getting your hands dirty.  If the people you are leading see that you are not afraid of hard work, they will likely follow suit. Do not expect others to do what you are not willing to do yourself.  The best way to earn the respect, trust, and the right to lead others is to lead by example.




Inspiration is all around us if we just look.  I was at the gym Saturday morning on the treadmill and was alternating between walking and running.  I wanted to run a little longer, but was running out of steam.  Just as I had my finger positioned to reduce my speed to walk, I saw a man walk a little awkwardly to the treadmill in front of me.  He had on shorts and I looked down and saw that he had prostheses for legs.  He got on the treadmill and started working out.  I was inspired by his determination and thought if he can do the treadmill, then I can run just a little longer.   And I did.  You never know how, where, or when you will be greeted by inspiration!

Do The Right Thing

Do Right Thing

Peter Drucker famously stated that “management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”   When I think of leaders doing the right things, I think of the tone at the top.  Tone at the top refers to the ethical atmosphere that is created in the workplace by the organization’s leadership. Whatever tone the leader sets will have a trickle-down effect on employees of the company. If the tone set by the organization’s leaders upholds ethics and integrity, employees will be more inclined to uphold those same values. However, if upper management appears unconcerned with ethics and focuses solely on the bottom line, employees will be more prone to emulate the leaders.  Employees pay close attention to the behavior and actions of their leaders, and they follow their lead.