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5 Ways Being a Good Texan Makes You a Great Leader

By Joel Garfinkle

What are the habits of a good leader? Several years ago, renowned singer and Texas songwriter Lyle Lovett was asked about being a Texan gentleman, and it turns out that the qualities of excellent leadership are strikingly similar to those he outlined for being a fine Texan.
Motivational Speaker Joel Garfinkle explains how to become the leader others want to follow using many of the same long-celebrated merits Lovett outlined for being a gracious Texan gentleman—rules that are relevant to every organization, in any era.

  1. Show respect. Whether it is by tipping your hat like a Texan or by engaging others in building the success of an organization, showing others respect is critical to your success as a leader. It is also critical to the success of an organization; showing respect creates an environment where employees feel valued. Give your employees the respect they deserve and leaders will flourish.
  2. Hold the door. It is good manners to hold open the door, but does it also make for great leadership? What is seen as simple consideration for a Texan is one of motivational speaker Joel Garfinkle’s pillars of great leadership. Opening the door to opportunities and increased responsibility for your employees can be the key to your organization’s success. By empowering them, you encourage them to excel and the entire company benefits.
  3. Listen. What quality do we value more in a person than their ability to be a good listener? Listening well involves not only allowing someone to speak, but actually hearing what they are saying. This is true not only in social situations but also in business. It’s not just the quality of a good Texan; it is a critical factor in being a good leader.
  4. Say thank you. Showing gratitude–promptly, genuinely and with grace–is not just critical to making a good impression as a Texan. Motivational speaker Joel Garfinkle talks about the merits of positive feedback and recognizing your employees. It is important as a leader to be supportive of the achievements of others, especially on your own team. Taking the time to say thank you in the right fashion can make you a good Texan and a great leader.
  5. Maintain a great appearance. It’s no secret that there are few things in life more compelling than the power of perception. The phrase “dress for success”–which to a Texan may mean spending a little extra on the best boots–is only part of the equation. The reputation we build at work is as important as what we wear, and equally important to maintain.

The rules of being an impeccable Texan gentleman may initially sound antiquated, but it turns out that the guidelines for grace and leadership really are timeless.

Do you need a motivational speaker for a conference or convention? Contact motivational speaker Joel Garfinkle to speak at your next company function.

Copyright © 2012 Joel Garfinkle, All Rights Reserved. Joel Garfinkle is recognized as one of the top 50 coaches in the U.S., and the author of 7 books, including Getting Ahead: Three Steps to Take Your Career to the Next Level. He has worked with many of the world’s leading companies, including Google, Deloitte, Amazon, Ritz-Carlton, Gap, Cisco, Oracle, and many more. Subscribe to his Fulfillment at Work Newsletter and receive the FREE e-book, "41 Proven Strategies to Get Promoted Now!"

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