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  • Dr. Henry J. Svec

Leadership Skills in Every Employee

When Mary and I arrived early at our hotel in Halifax we were doubtful that we would get in early. It was about 11:00 a.m. and check in was supposed to be at 3 or 4 but we had to get going to a sporting event. The professional who met us said that she would do her best to accommodate us and sure enough found us a room. She didn’t re-explain the check-in time rule, lecture us on how rooms had to be cleaned first etc. She stepped up and made it work. When we got to our room, she sent us a text asking us if everything in the room was OK. Yup, the hotel encouraged their staff to take control, lead by example and create an amazing experience for guests.

Having arrived back home at 3 in the morning two days later, I woke early for a meeting with a banker at BMO about opening up an account. The appointment was scheduled for 8:00 a.m. but I was there alone. I waited, waited and at 8:10 headed back home. I was later told that the banker had some type of emergency which is understandable, but no emails or anything from anyone. That also is understandable. But what isn’t, is that when I arrived at 10 to sign those papers I was told to wait because they weren’t “ready” for me yet. No one knew how long, but I sat and waited. When asked to go into an office I heard the excuses of why the manager was a no show etc. It was all about her issues, nothing about what we could do to make this experience a good one. Contrast that with our meeting in Halifax at our hotel. I know that the Tellers that banks are always wanting to replace “get it” and often lead at every opportunity. They understand you, form a relationship with you and help you where they can. Most operate with valued leadership skills that their supervisors cannot access. Tellers are the reason Banks continue to make record profits in Canada. It has nothing to do with management, the CEO or anything else. Bank Tellers to survive MUST be true leaders.

When I wrote my most recent book, “Don’t be a Wimp Raise a Strong Leader” many people thought it was about raising your child to run a company, be a politician or Bank Executive. But that is not the case. Leadership skills are evidenced at the point of contact that every customer has with your good or service. Your employees need to be able to lead by example, take measured risks, think outside of the box, work very hard, be loyal and dependable, ethical and strong. The stronger the leadership skills at every level of your organization the better your customers experience will be and the more profit you will achieve. How do you instill leadership in your organization? How can you encourage each and every one of your employees to be a strong leader?

As always your thoughts and comments are appreciated at

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