Now more than ever, it is important for those leading in the workplace to maximize the contributions of those they lead. Organizational leaders are asked to do more with less all the while being required to increase profits. It’s a challenging task—one that demands everyone gives their all every moment they are on the job. So how does a good leader make this happen? Here are five ideas you might find useful to improve the results in your organization:

Create a Cooperative and Collaborative Culture. Great leaders model what they expect from others. That means if you want cooperation in the work environment, you must be cooperative with everyone in your organization. Being cooperative starts with having respect for your fellow workers. Respect is built on trust, cordial communication and appreciation for the contributions made by workers. There has to be an openness that allows leaders to engage in meaningful dialog. With a non-threatening environment, workers are asked for their opinions and leaders value the information received. Then, both should take the appropriate action on the information exchanged to produce the best results.

Create an Aligned Strategy and Organizational Focus. When everyone knows where the organization is headed, it is much easier to get there. Share the vision and strategy—the sense of purpose why the organization exists. Then align everyone’s goals and job functions to accomplish the vision. When everyone is clear why their work is important to an organization that provides a greater understanding of what they should do each moment they are on the job. Purpose also opens the door to increased morale and a higher degree of problem solving. When you know what you want, your determination to get there is much higher and your chances of success much greater.

Create a Sense of Responsibility. With assignment of purpose comes the accountability for fulfilling that purpose. Leaders should give workers the tools they need to be successful while holding them accountable for creating success. That means giving them authority and freedom to be creative working within previously agreed upon parameters. There must be some sense of discipline and acceptable limits. Stifling workers creates frustration and low morale. And that leads to my next important point.

Create an Atmosphere Where Skills and Talents are Maximized. Your strongest asset is the people who work for you. The task of a leader is to place workers where there is the best fit and utilization of their skills and talents. Matching organizational needs with worker abilities is a win-win combination. Doing this places a high value on workers, creates a trusting environment and increases personal motivation. Those are absolutes that every successful organization has in place.

Create an Attitude of Commitment. Until buy-in occurs, nothing very productive will take place. Workers and leaders alike must be committed to getting the job done. Both must engage in a process they believe will work. That develops when there is cooperation, communication, clear purpose, unwavering acceptance of roles and responsibilities and a full utilization of personal abilities. Development of these steps almost automatically creates this step. Putting everything together will improve the bottom line, stabilize the future of the organization and make working for the organization an enjoyable and challenging experience.

Closing Thoughts

Whether we work for others or for ourselves, we should be willing to give it our all. As leaders in the workplace, we should be striving to see that every worker does exactly that. But, best results occur when the intentions come from workers, not leaders. And that brings us to the utilization of the five points mentioned earlier. When leaders use these strategies, it raises the self-motivation of workers thus producing greater results.

Today we compete against a global workforce. It’s no longer the business down the street that is our competition—it’s potentially everyone in the world. Technology has shrunk the world and raised the bar of service and the quality of goods a company must offer customers to stay in business. And, staying in business requires great teamwork within the boundaries of your organization. If both worker and leader unite in this effort, both will have staying power in the marketplace. Failing to do this creates a cloudy future and limited opportunity for growth and survival.

A Bit of Lagniappe

Success happens when there is a total team effort. That means everyone contributes and everyone is accepted as a team member. People are ready to step in and help those who need it. Everyone believes in themselves and other members of the team. Team members are willing to outwork the competition and do what is necessary to prepare themselves to get the job done. There is an atmosphere of discipline and commitment to the vision and strategy. Execution is done right the first time. Failure is never an option.

Winners are willing to do what failures won’t do. They understand that it is the small steps taken correctly that ultimately move one to the destination of their choice. Become a team player or help create a winning team—those are the only two choices people who wish to be successful can make.

© 2007 Billy Arcement

Author's Bio: 

Billy Arcement, MEd., turns knowledge into results. He is a former teacher, coach, school board member and senior corporate manager. Today, he uses his teaching, coaching and corporate experiences to create insightful consultation and training sessions.

His work with business leaders creates a culture of teamwork, productivity and profits. His message to school boards, administrators and teachers is simple and candid—always keep children first.

By mixing a generous blend of his signature “Cajun” stories, inspirational content rich messages with common sense advice, Billy brings enlightenment and enthusiasm to every event.
No matter the role—keynote presenter, in-service workshop leader, meeting facilitator, executive coach or leadership consultant, clients receive a highly customized approach that turns problems into opportunities.

Billy writes nationally published articles on leadership, education issues and success principles. His book, "Searching for Success," is now published in four foreign countries. His newest book, "The Journey--Powerful Strategies for Discovering Your Personal, Professional and Spiritual Destiny," is due out in October 2007. His ezines, News from the Swamp (leadership and success strategies) and Children First (parenting skills) reach a world-wide audience each month.

Learn more about his services and subscribe to his newsletters on his website,

Need someone to speak to your association meeting, company training session or business meeting, his many satisfied clients would simply recommend to you—do it!