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Leading by Example - Wise Thoughts for the New Year

Guest Article by Miriam Lieber, Lieber Consulting LLC

With change in environment comes the need for leadership. Throughout my travels to HME companies nationwide, I can almost script the commonly found trend among employees and management alike. It is the proclivity to fight change rather than embrace it as an opportunity.  For many, working for years in the same fashion makes it easy to become complacent and resistant to change. This is exemplified in typical answers such as "we've always done it this way." Nonetheless, the HME industry will no longer tolerate the status quo. Rather, the challenges facing HME providers require out of the box thinking. As a leader and employee alike, constantly ask yourself if there is a smarter and more efficient way to perform the same function. Automation is often the answer. This will help you avoid stagnation and promotes leadership opportunity. In a recent article, author Greg Satell states "change always requires leadership rather than authority."  I couldn't agree more. The better the leader, the better the staff.

In the HME companies I visit, I find employees emulating management's behavior in almost every case. If management wanders around, so does staff. If management is passive and saunters in late, so will staff. Conversely, when management is goal oriented and stays on task, so will staff. This means that your company needs exemplary leadership. 

Moreover, this is why successful companies are comprised of superior leaders who motivate staff to perform their jobs. By helping staff understand their responsibilities through objective measures, increased productivity typically follows.  Staff needs and wants structure, boundaries and guidance. If leaders devote time and effort to provide employees the tools needed to succeed, staff typically performs according to (or exceeding) plan. Rather than taking tasks away and doing their work for them (as many managers will do), lead, coach and inspire employees to do their jobs. A leader's best measure of success is truly allowing and empowering staff to accomplish and exceed their goals.  As Daniel Goleman writes in his article, The Focused Leader, "Executives who can effectively focus on others are easy to recognize.  They are the ones who find common ground, whose opinions carry the most weight, and with whom other people want to work.  They emerge as natural leaders regardless of organization or social rank." By spending time developing the skills of your employees, as a leader, you gain both the employee's respect and enhanced productivity and performance.

As we start a new year, may 2015 be filled with focused leadership, engaged employees and innovative ways to change and grow in this shifting landscape of HME.


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