A Lesson in Leadership from Saving Private Ryan

I love this scene from “Saving Private Ryan.” Tom Hanks demonstrates many qualities of leadership throughout the movie. He understands the need stay positive on the outcome and the process. Work with you have and continue to move forward toward the goal.

In this scene, when everyone is griping and complaining, he teaches us a valuable lesson in where we as the leaders of our business should focus our complaints and how we handle these complaints and frustrations can lead in two directions – growing your team or just more griping.

Are your attitude and actions destroying your own business?

Just this week, I watched a business owner destroy their own company, from the inside, with comments made during a meeting. This business owner was a franchisee of well-known successful business. Two of their employees accompanied them to this meeting. I heard many comments concerning the company’s process, vendor agreements and the direction that the company was going.

“This company is going backwards and I'm not sure about the future.”

Wow, what a statement to make in front of your employees. This person may have valid concerns about the franchise, but as a franchisee your employees see your company as one in the same. You are the company. Neither your employees nor the consumer recognizes the difference. When someone asks a McDonald's employee where they work, they don't say I work for Moore Enterprises. No, they say they work at McDonald's.

Your brand is what you make of it. To everyone else, your brand is your business. Perception is truth. There may be a great divide between your franchise and the next one down the street, but very few people notice the difference.

If I was working for a business owner that constantly complained about the business, its future prospects, and the way everything is messed up and not changing, I would be actively considering where my future is going. If I'm a top performer, I'm looking to get out of there as quick as I can.

Perception is reality. Help yourself by speaking positive about your business and your brand. You don't have to whitewash over the issues, but always be positive about the ultimate outcome.

Don't destroy your business with complaints.

Be a leader and lead to the future you desire.

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