Boss School: Leadership 101

You can’t teach leadership. You can’t make people follow you, even if you pay their salary.


You have to inspire them. You have to embody a vision that will lead the people in your organization to WANT to follow you. The best bosses understand the folks working for them. They know what makes them tick. What a win is for them. The people who work for you have to know you understand not only their skill set and talents but their needs as well. Being a successful boss in it’s simplest form comes down to the ability to take a group of human beings and, by understanding their goals and utilizing their individual talents, set up a structure and environment in which you move them to a desired end, your objective.

If the person who runs a company has a belief system and everything he or she does stays mostly true to that belief system, it will attract like-minded individuals who will buy into it. As the company the company grows and accumulates more resources and tools to bring that culture to life and if the value systems continues to remain strong and entrenched and the company’s core group of people are continually selling it outward, that culture gets even more clearing defined. A corporate culture starts at the top. The culture of Deutsch, as it has evolved, is all about blazing new trails. I built Deutsch on the philosophy of doing things that are leaner, meaner, faster, smarter. We don’t want everyone to be the same. We encourage people at Deutsch – a lot of our folks refer to themselves as Deutschers - to be as great as they can be, to not be afraid of failure if it will produce excellence. We encourage them to go all out! They are not put in a box but rather encouraged to think outside of it. We’re smart, we’re challenging and we set a high bar.

As a boss, you can be hard on others if you’re also just as hard on yourself. Do you want someone to show up at the office at five a.m.? If you’re there are four thirty, they’ll be there in a heartbeat. The passion, the competitiveness, the swinging for the fences, it all adds up. It all starts at the top, with the boss. If you can bring out the best in people, create an environment in which they do their best work, they will walk through fire for you.

What kind of boss are you? How do you inspire and lead those who work for you? I want to hear your stories. Write me at donny@cnbc.com