3 Leadership Tips to Keep Your Team Happy, from Bill Decker

    October 24, 2014

    People always ask what The Hub’s “special sauce” is: When you come into our facilities, you’re always greeted by people who are genuinely pleased to see you, because they’re genuinely pleased to be part of The Hub team. We’re honored to have attracted–and be able to retain– such a great team, and we know it has a lot to do with the leadership, so we asked our co-founder, Bill Decker, about it. Of course, we like to put our own spin on things here at The Hub,  so we asked him for the top three things he wishes he’d known about leadership when he was just starting out in business. Here are his answers:

    The 4-7-1 leadership structure

    A wonderful nonprofit that I work with, ShelterBox, uses this model to gauge our volunteers’ leadership needs and capabilities. (The National Outdoors Leadership School uses this system as well.) It has been the most useful framework for my own development as a leader that I have ever found. In a nutshell, it recognizes that we all play up to four situational roles as leaders in varying settings and contexts. Sometimes, leadership actually means being an “Active Follower,” and other times leadership means being an untitled de facto leader of our peers. We combine those various leadership roles with notions of self awareness, technical competence and behaviors–along with four other categories—and arrive at one signature leadership style that is highly flexible, effective and unique to each of us.

    This model allows us to quickly hone in on what people’s strengths are, and also allows those those might not be what the business world thinks of as “classic” leaders–the louder, more aggressive people–to shine in their own rights.

    The importance of an advisory board

    It’s critical for any leader to have a mastermind group of top-notch advisors who can help to better equip and inform you. In our case, it’d have been great to have an advisory board early on, for challenges we faced as we structured the company, raised capital and grew.

    The big secret

    It was right under my nose. A key Dale Carnegie tenet is the goal of inspiring people to want to be excellent in working for me and my business. While it helps to follow some of the simple Carnegie rules, the thing that makes all of the magic happen is connecting with people on the basis of shared values. The Hub brand comprises extraordinary people, woven with threads of kindness and respect towards others, excellence in our roles, and environmental stewardship. People who don’t share in these values are not a good fit and often self-select out of the company.

    What key leadership values do you wish you’d known about at the beginning of your career? Tell us in the comments below.