Leaders Inspire

Leaders Involve People

Dave Kinnear1-On Leadership

Leaders Inspire


It is always about people. Whenever I speak to business owners for the first time, the question I can almost always count on is, “My business is different. How can you or a peer group help me if no one is in or knows about my industry?”

“The business of business is people. Yesterday, today and forever.”
—Herb Kelleher, Southwest Airlines

The answer to their question is that it’s always about the employees. Sure, getting some independent third-party

opinion about industry strategy or brainstorming a business development opportunity helps. But frankly, the “real issue” is almost always a human resource issue. Managing change, developing a leadership bench, and hiring to the culture we have created is the common thread among businesses.


Good leaders are always working on clarifying values, vision, and mission. If you are the CEO, Owner, President, or General Manager, then pretty much your whole “critical mission” is establishing and actively managing the culture. If that task has been done well, then involving people, that is keeping employees engaged, will be much less of a problem. It will also be easier to hold ourselves accountable.

Lead by Example

A safe environment invites employees to be involved. If you actively listen to team members and refuse to shoot the messenger for bad news, then others will follow suit. If you encourage people to share their ideas and always “vet actions” against the organization’s values, then others will follow suit. What if everyone in your organization had the clarity of values, understood the vision/mission, and knew they had a “larger purpose”? Would you (and they) enjoy going to work even more than you do now?