WHY do business leaders get the big bucks?
True, they are well paid for results and responsibility. They are to meet organizational goals such as profitability, market share or customer satisfaction. The wider the leader’s scope, the bigger his compensation.
Thus, a machine operator is paid to meet his production targets, such as making X widgets per day. But the factory manager is paid more because his work affects overall corporate goals, such as driving cost competitiveness with an impact on the bottom line.
However, I propose another reason why leaders like you should be paid well. It is to be an example. “Do as I say, not as I do” is no longer sufficient. In fact, it’s plain wrong. Workers want to see you in action. When what you do is inconsistent from what you say, then you will be seen as a problem boss, maybe even a horrible one.
Hitting the numbers is not enough. It is to model the core values of the organization. This is self-evident by the disgust we feel about, say, a department head who is very competent but also very unethical. Leaders set the moral tone. For example, if he wants his men to be industrious and honest, he has to be industrious and honest himself. Demoralization happens when the leader fails to walk the talk.
Therefore, it is not enough to be paid well to meet quotas or specs. It is to be paid well to bring out the best in others by personal example. In fact, many companies cite their mission and vision statements, then core values. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? First, values. Then, mission and vision.
Casting a vision of industry leadership (“to be the supplier of choice” and the like) without exemplifying the values (integrity, initiative and so on) is to invite short cuts with disastrous results. Think corporate scandals. When you personify the values, the rest of the organization catches on and there is nothing to stop them from fulfilling the vision.
Forbes (Marcel Schwantes) listed down these five ways a leader walks the talk:
· They help people achieve their goals.
· They give people freedom and autonomy.
· They fiercely defend their company’s values.
· They improve the lives of their people.
· They listen more than they talk.
Do you want to get the big bucks? By all means, be the go-to expert in your field. Deliver the goods. But most of all, know the positive values that the company stands for. Then be the standard by which others look up to.
The big bucks will take care of themselves.
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