Be a better leader today

Nov 18, 2019

"Doing these 20 things will only make you more effective and your company more successful. And none of them are difficult, so go to it!"

We all know leadership is extremely critical to organizational success. It’s the “secret sauce” that makes everything work and supercharges productivity in an AEC firm, where people are everything and their time is all you have to sell.

Here are 20 things you can do TODAY to make you a more effective leader:

  1. Say “good morning” in a cheerful way to every single employee you see between your car and your office.
  2. Ask someone you wouldn’t normally ask how their weekend was and listen to them.
  3. Announce at the beginning of any internal meeting you are running today that you will restrict its length to either 15 or 30 minutes – max – and then actually do that.
  4. Get up and walk around the office. Talk to everyone you see, especially those at a lower level in the organization.
  5. Smile more than you normally would. It will make you and everyone around you happier.
  6. Don’t tell anyone how busy you are. Instead, act calm and encourage them to tell you their problems.
  7. When anyone asks anything about you and your weekend or day, or anything personal, turn the discussion around immediately and start asking them questions to show your interest.
  8. Have lunch with someone at a lower level whom you wouldn’t normally interact with.
  9. Put your phone completely down and actually listen to someone for 15 minutes.
  10. Take a look at your salaries and give someone an out-of-sequence raise that they deserve.
  11. Clean up the office kitchen and refrigerator. It shows you are willing to do low-level work.
  12. Get a mobile car washing crew to wash the dirtiest employee vehicles in your parking lot. It will show you care.
  13. Confront someone on their bad behavior but be nice while doing it. It’s your job – not easy, but only you can do it.
  14. Offer to help someone do a task they are working on now. It will show you care about them.
  15. Ask someone what would make their life easier or better. It will show you are interested in them.
  16. Call a current client you don’t normally talk to and ask how your team is doing for them. It will show you are on top of your business.
  17. Get your email hooked up to the distribution list for the “for more information contact us here” page on your website so you see every incoming inquiry. You need to see that opportunities are responded to properly and expeditiously.
  18. Walk into a client meeting in your office and introduce yourself. It will show them you are interested in them.
  19. Eliminate a bureaucratic process or rule. It will show you are not insensitive to employee frustrations.
  20. Be the last person at the office tonight. Offer to get some food for anyone who is there at dinner time and then join them while you eat.

Doing these 20 things will only make you more effective and your company more successful. And none of them are difficult, so go to it!

Mark Zweig is Zweig Group’s chairman and founder. Contact him at

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.