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Eleven New Rules of Leadership for a New Generation of Businesses

We all know the know the economy is much different than it was 15 years ago. As a result, businesses have changed, and the future is uncertain.

But, that doesn’t mean that all businesses have shut down completely. It simply means a new game plan is in place. After all, adaptation is what humans do best.

In order to succeed in this economy, you need to throw your old leadership tactics out the window.  The conventional rules of leadership (strict schedules, crisp meeting agendas, planned delegation) are becoming a thing of the past. In order to be a great boss–and crush it with high profits–you need to follow these new rules.

Inc. Magazine recently provided a list of the new rules of leadership. Here are the Top 11 we think are most important for our healthy vending machines business.

1. Have a Bias Towards Action

The biggest impediment in a successful business is actually getting things done. Normally, a great idea is presented, but it sits on the back burner for months–even years–until it’s implemented. By the time it’s dialed and ready to go, the window of opportunity is sealed shut. When you come up with something great, make it happen.

Think it, and then do it.

2. Let “No” Be a Bigger Part of Your Vocabulary

The power to learn to say “no” is extremely important. Set yourself limits and always keep in mind the end result. This isn’t to say you should limit creativity and action, but distinguishing between an extraordinary idea and an ordinary idea is crucial.

3. Keep Communications to a Minimum

This one is all about efficiency. What’s the need of inviting 10 people to a meeting when only 3 actually need to be there? Or what about sending company-wide emails when it only concerns a select few? We all know the frustrations of that one person who CC’s everyone on every single email sent out. This is especially important in small companies like ours. As we grow, our “departments” become more specialized, but communication does not.

4. Set Up Your Office as an Idea Factory

Let your office be a place where people feel comfortable sharing ideas. Make every day a meeting of the minds. Some of the best ideas are born by just spitballing, so instead of making your office a stuffy workplace, make it a destination people want to go to. We set up our new office with this exact idea in mind, and let me tell you–it works.

5. Make Customer Service Everyone’s Job

This one seems like a no-brainer, but it really works. Excellent customer service is key to a successful business. This doesn’t mean only having a receptionist handling customer service. Everyone needs to be aware of the problems in order to fix them. If your whole company knows the issues circulating around your business, there is a better chance it will get fixed faster.

6. Value Creativity Over Productivity

Instead of focusing on getting a ton of products dialed and produced, focus on producing the highest quality product available. Make sure to hone your creativity and place more emphasis on that than anything else.

Value intuition – and hold yourself to that standard at work. Work on whatever feels instinctively right at the moment and let your schedule take on an organic randomness, so efficacy can feel effortless.

7. Leave Your Schedule Open

Leave large blocks of your schedule open. That way, you’re open to impromptu meetings, employee questions, and more. If you wind up with extra time, fill it with self-education and big-picture, future-oriented thinking.

8. Don’t Treat All Employees Equally

Your employees aren’t robots, so don’t treat everyone as if they are. Everyone is different, so recognize their strengths and weaknesses and act accordingly. People value personal attention, but it’s obvious they won’t get it all the time. If you recognize something good someone did, let them know you noticed. Realize that everyone contributes to your team in some way, and differences are a good thing! We learn the most from those who have different perspectives. Just ask any of our team members!

9. Micromanage (Sometimes)

Micromanage? That word makes me cringe. We’ve been conditioned to delegate, delegate, delegate, and that’s how it’s been done for awhile. However, micromanaging (a little) helps you keep a pulse with what is happening in your business. Hire smart, dedicated people who can be set free and trusted to get things done, but when something goes unplanned, stepping in with strategic micromanaging may eliminate the root of the problem.

10. Let Employees Come and Go as They Please

Make your business out to be a workforce of dedicated volunteers–people who can come and go when they please. Some of the best new CEO’s let their employees work from wherever they like.

Don’t necessarily set a fixed vacation policy–let them fly out and come back when they’re pumped for more action. As weird as this sounds, it actually fosters more commitment. It breeds employees who want to think about work wherever they are, even if they are relaxing in the Caribbean.

11. Make the Important Calls Yourself

No, we don’t want you to fire all your employees and do everything yourself, but making the most important calls yourself is the way to go. Do you have a huge sale and want to make sure you lock it down? Call the person yourself. The customer will feel special knowing that the head honcho reached out to them.

As you can tell, this isn’t your average list of leadership strategies. But, the world is changing, and it’s all about the survival of the fittest.

Best in health,

Sean & Andy
Founders, HUMAN Healthy Vending

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Listen, Learn, and Lead

Lead Your Employees Like You’re Leading an Army

Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets?

By listening and learning — and addressing the possibility of failure.

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HUMAN Co-Founder Sean Kelly Achieves Celebrity Status

An elementary school student’s PowerPoint presentation on Sean Kelly is making waves here at HUMAN. One of our own has finally achieved celeb status!

Check out this student’s comprehensive analysis of Sean as a top-notch “social entrepreneur.”

Way to go Sean!

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