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The 3 D’s of Responsible Leadership

311…it was posted everywhere on every floor. 311 on the elevator. 311 in the hallway. And 311 on the door of one very determined executive vice president.

“What is this all about?” many inquired.

Those on the top floor knew…all 311 in that division.

This particular company was in bankruptcy. Meetings were held daily as to what parts would be sold and when. Negotiations were ongoing with other companies to purchase different divisions. Some would be dissolved.

But one very adamant executive vice president fought for his people.

He promised them that none of the 311 would lose their jobs, and then he made good on the promise. The division was sold to another company – it had to be, as the “mother ship” was going down. But in his negotiations with the other company, who very much wanted him, he required that as part of his employment agreement, they would agree to hire all 311 of his people.

This is the epitome of a leader who recognized that leadership of his people meant declaring a vision, determining to safeguard his people, and delivering on his promise.

And he did.

As a leader, do your people know you take their interests seriously? Do they know that you would fight for their jobs just as much as you would fight for your own? Are they secure in the vision you have for them and the company?

Leadership is serious business.

Every day, your employees give you their most precious gift – their time. In exchange, though they may not say it, they expect at least some degree of security. It is their right to expect that you create and adhere to a vision that is geared toward the long-term success of the company.

How can you be a responsible leader? There are three very specific tenets.

  1. Declare a vision.

Take out a piece of paper, and write down the number of employees entrusted to your care. Post it on your door. Post it in other prominent places. Then declare to your people that will protect every one of their interests as much as your own. That is a big, daring vision.

The Result: You will gain their attention.

  1. Determine to safeguard your people.

Vision is key, but vision alone is not enough. It must be followed by determination and a plan. In fact, the bigger the vision, the more fierce determination and solid planning must be applied. Just as you declared the vision to your people, you must also share the plan with them. They gives them security and obtains the needed buy-in from them you need to carry it out. Big vision is a team effort.

The Result: You will gain their respect.

  1. Deliver on your promise.

Vision, determination, and planning require one other component in order to become reality: action. Action is delivering on your promise…and your promise is vision. Deliver the vision.

The Result: You will gain their loyalty.

These principles apply to your employees and team; and they also apply to your customers and clients. Do your customers and clients know the vision you have for them? Do they sense your commitment or are they treated like a number? Do they know you will passionately deliver that vision and keep your promises to them?

This is the second article in the Leadership Ladder series. Click here for more.

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Dave Ferguson
Internationally respected and highly experienced executive leadership coach, speaker and author. Check Dave out at LivingToLead.com. Dave is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine.
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