<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=290086984736480&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
word-map-thumb

The Alternative Board Blog

Leadership: Gandhi Style

Nov. 5, 2013 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Gandhi_spinning

There's a famous story, where a mother brings her son to Gandhi, and asks him:

“Bapu (Father), my son eats too much sugar. It is not good for his health. Would you please ask him to stop?”

Gandhi reflected for a few moment, and replied:

“Please come back in one month. I will talk to your son then.”

The woman looked perplexed, and wondered why Gandhi had not asked the boy to stop eating sugar right away. She took her son and went home.

A month later, the mother and son visited Gandhi again. Gandhi looked at the boy and said:

“Son, you should stop eating sugar. It is not good for your health.”

The boy nodded, and promised that he would not continue this habit any longer. The boy’s mother was puzzled. She turned to Gandhi and asked:

“Bapu, why didn’t you tell him to cut out the sweets two weeks ago?”

Gandhi smiled and said:

“Mother, two weeks ago, I was eating a lot of sugar myself.”

In business, your staff will respect managers who are willing to roll up their sleeves and do the kind of task they are asking of their employees. This is especially true in small businesses. It's not practical for the manager to do every task- that's why you have employees, but employees respond best to managers who have been there, and can empathize with their workers.

Want additional insight? Download Productivity Hacks for Business Owners 

DOWNLOAD

To be clear, I am not asking you to be as genuine as Gandhi when you delegate business tasks. He was very wise, and had incredible self discipline. But the story is relevant.  Gandhi had enough integrity to only ask someone to do what he was willing to do himself.  It's important that managers have this same kind of integrity in assigning work to their employees.

Remember that there are two sides to this coin.  I've seen managers, and even business owners, who are so sensitive about respecting their employees that they don’t ask their workers to do demeaning tasks. Instead, they do the tasks themselves.  To be clear, delegating work is important and I don't recommend putting the weight of the world on your shoulders either. If you are willing to do a task, or have at least done the task at an earlier stage of your career, it is perfectly appropriate to ask your staff get tough.

And, for the record, I would never ask my team to stop eating sugar.

Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board

DOWNLOAD

Written by The Alternative Board Worldwide

Related posts

How to Manage Your Mobile Workforce

Jul. 16, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The American workforce is changing the nature of “work” as we once knew it. The days when employees absolutely had to work at a desk, in an office, are long gone. While many businesses still insist...

CEOs Save Time by Learning to Say “No”

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
  Learn to Say No!    How many times in a day do people approach you or your gatekeeper with a request, suggestion or some other time-consuming appeal? Like many other business leaders, your first...

Save Time with Fewer (and More Productive) Meetings

Jul. 2, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
For most companies, there’s no way around having meetings as a way to conduct day-to-day business. At the same time, it’s hard to find any CEO or business owner who doesn’t experience frustration at...

Differentiating Between “Urgent” and “Important” Saves You Time

Jun. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Urgent? Or important? Take a moment to look back on what you did today in your role as business owner or CEO. How much time was spent reacting to an urgent issue or crisis someone brought to you,...

A Quick Guide to More Efficient CEO Time Management

Jun. 27, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Most CEOs and business leaders understand on a gut level that there aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done. They also know that time, (and the management of their time!), probably the...

Is it Time to Update Your Sexual Harassment Policy?

Jun. 26, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
 Revelations of sexual misconduct in the worlds of culture and business, as well as the rise of the #MeToo movement, should serve as a clear warning to CEOs and business owners. In today’s...

The Right Feedback Can Boost Employee Retention

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Among the many skills a CEO or business owner should possess is the ability to provide constructive, meaningful feedback. Employees at every level of an organization want to do the best job possible,...

6 Tips on Turning Great Employees into Outstanding Leaders

May. 29, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
The current job market is so tight and competitive, why make it any more difficult to recruit and retain the right people for your company? Too many businesses focus on getting bodies into open...

What Technology Is Best for Driving Growth?

Apr. 9, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
 Advances in technology have significantly leveled the playing field for small and mid-sized businesses. They now have access to much of the same technological resources previously available only to...

How Technology Can Boost Your New Employee Recruitment Efforts

Apr. 9, 2018 | Posted by The Alternative Board Worldwide
Gone are the days of job-seekers finding jobs in a newspaper’s classified section. Even online job boards aren’t as effective as they once were. To be competitive in today’s marketplace, businesses...