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Business, Enterprise Edition Lead By Example – Donna Stone


By: Donna Stone •  2 years ago •  

As a business and leadership coach, I work with businesses owners, leaders and executives every day.
Through my Coach the Coach TM program I also coach other coaches.
When it comes to leadership, the biggest (and loudest) message I can send is to lead by example. If you are the business owner who ‘rips off’ your customers, then how can you be possibly shocked when your own staff attempts to rip you off? Top fitness coaches don’t smoke, drink excessively and ‘pig out’ on burgers. If you expect others to do as you say, then you need to do it

Leadership Tips

Walk the Talk

Everything you expect of others, you should be expecting of yourself.
If you are a business owner who wanders in at 10am, takes 3 hour lunches and spends the afternoon shopping online, then you’ve set the bar pretty low for those under you. In my decades of being a
business owner and an employer, I did everything I expected of my team, times ten.

Earn Respect

Whilst some business owners may believe that they should simply be respected because they sign the pay
cheques, there is more to it. If you swear at your staff, lose your temper or go around ranting and raving, then they will not respect you. Please – never reprimand your staff via email or in front of others, especially clients or customers. That is poor form and inappropriate and certainly shows no respect.
The Carrot is so much better than the Stick.
When you are a leader or employer, the staff under you can do one of two things (and still keep their job)

– That is either going above and beyond
– Or doing the bare essentials.

For those of you who want a productive team, these are the staff who are motivated, love their job, respect their boss and enjoy coming to work. Those who live in the shadow of the stick are in fear of being sacked, abused, yelled at.
They have no reason to give you more than the basics – just enough to retain their job – until they find something better.

Remember, not all staff are there for the money – staff stay for many reasons including job satisfaction, feeling appreciated, feeling valued and growth or advancement opportunities.

So, for the ‘Carrot’ what are some examples of this? It can be financial.
You can offer an incentive bonus if a KPI (Key Performance Indicators) or milestone is achieved. One thing I did with one client was that we put KPIs in place for the staff and if they achieved their set goals (which were achievable) by Friday morning, then they got to go home at lunchtime on Friday and still be paid. That was a great motivator to get on with the job, work hard, achieve the goals and get an early mark.

‘Carrots’ can be as simple as showing appreciation of staff publicly or in front of other teams, including staff awards. It can be taking them out to lunch, particularly after a business win or as simple as flowers, chocolates or a good old fashioned (but genuine) thank you.

Happy staff are productive staff. Productive staff make a business money.

Donna Stone

Personal Branding

I believe sometimes personal branding is under realised and underutilised when it comes to leaders, executives and yes, even business owners.
I am always working on my own personal (and business) branding. It’s in how I present myself personally, what I say, what I write, the impression I give out and the perception I provide.
If I turned up to speak at a professional national conference in front of 300 people in a pair of jeans and sexy tight top – I would never be invited back again AND those listening wouldn’t even listen
to what I’ve got to say, regardless of how amazing the presentation could have been.

I frequently call myself an expert, I share that I’ve written six books, I’m a national award winner … all these things go to my branding. My work with charities and community groups attests to my community spirit. I’ve made the effort to have an awesome LinkedIn profile. Companies, at times, will spend a small fortune on branding and yet so many individuals just let this slide.

Don’t stop learning

Whilst I have formal qualifications, I treat every day as a learning experience. Make it part of your routine to read, listen to or watch something educational. The world is ever evolving and changing at such a pace that you cannot afford to become stagnant.

Don’t be afraid of change. Every leader needs to keep up to date with trends, direction and where their industry or business is heading. In fact, the best leaders are those who are leading their industry direction, not just following the pack, or worse, wondering what the heck is going on.

When I started coaching (more than 10 years ago) my style and approach was so much different from today. I have evolved, grown, changed and improved everything I do.
I am often asked if I follow a coaching model. My ‘program’ is self-developed, borne of experience, business maturity and client need. When you’ve been helping business owners for 30+ years and have been a successful business owner yourself, you know what works, what doesn’t work and how to achieve results.

Donna Stone is a business coach with three decades of experience. She grew her own business from a garage to be a multi-award winning operation that spanned five locations nationally. Donna works with business owners and other business coaches, consultants and trainers to help them build their own success. Her Coach the Coach TM program has proved exceedingly popular. Donna is a prolific writer with hundreds of articles written and six books published. Visit

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