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Lead on the cheap

Set a thrifty example to boost teamwork

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

I used to work for a CEO who seemed happiest when we were launching some costly new undertaking. Big expenditures excited him and made him feel like we were doing something.

One time I confessed to him that I spent a sizable sum of the company’s money to commission a study it turned out we didn’t need. He smiled and said, “You have to spend money to make money!”

I liked him. But I didn’t emulate him when I became CEO. My job is to squeeze the most out of every dollar.

Count the money

In my book, the standout managers show leadership in measurable ways. Sure, they’ve got character and vision and all that. But they also watch the little things, like expenses.

I want my executive team to live and breathe thrift. When I see them teaching employees to calculate the return they expect on an investment in, say, outsourcing payroll or redesigning the office, that just tickles me. It shows they’re treating our money as their own.

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