Judge Lawrence Huerta: Enriching Our Lives
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Enriquezca Su Vida
(Enriching Your Life)

A self-published book by Judge Lawrence Huerta
©1968.

translation by Anthony Nuño, 1999.

CHAPTER XXIV:
"THE PHILOSOPHY OF THE LEADER"

"You are not taller than the lowest of your thoughts, your are not lower than the highest of your desire; Oh man! There is no planet, sun or star that can contain you, if you only knew what you are."

-- ANONYMOUS

It is very important to know the philosophy of a good leader, since we need to distinguish the good ones from the bad ones. It is an ancient problem which we all must face as we all live and move forward in our lives.

There is nothing wrong with the aspirations to become a leader of humanity, especially since there are so many individuals who wish to find one. Actually, one person can have such influence over another one. I doubt if success could be possible if it wouldn't have been for the direct or indirect influence of a leader. There are many individuals who would not be happy unless they have a leader to guide them by the hand. Ninety five percent of individuals look for a leader. If you possess the necessary attributes to become one you will be interested in the nine steps which I hope will aid in the realization of your wishes and objectives. These 9 steps could be part of your plan. Also, let me remind you of a well known fact that nothing is more stimulating than to read biographies to give you the appropriate mental attitude.

1. Remember that men are greater than what they believe they are.

This is the first advice, take advantage of it: Man is much greater than what he believes he is. Most people do not believe this so that ninety nine percent of the people remain satisfied with who they are. I assure you the individuals who work with you are not the exception to the rule. They are much more capable than what they think. It is your obligation to make them discover it. It is a common belief that each businessman has accumulated a working group that he deserves.As a leader he has the responsibility to find the member who has wandered into the desert of apathy and idleness and wisely guide him towards the road of enthusiasm and initiative.

2. Set out parameters.

If you walk without a specific direction within a half hour you will be tired, on the other hand, you can walk for miles without feeling tired when you know your specific destination. The same principles apply to your workers. If you determine the objectives, they will not stray nor feel timeworn easily. If you ask them to accomplish whatever they can the results will be very poor. Each working assignment must be assessed. Each salesperson must have a determined quota. Each employee must have specific duties and each project must be carefully planned.

When we clearly plan and set out goals while working on a project, we have the tendency to look for ways to facilitate its accomplishment, this is what we call productivity.

3. Get together with your team frequently.

When one gets together with the team on a regular and a friendly basis, one promotes the team spirit.

One can also use this opportunity to show your gratitude to a member of your team.

The importance of team spirit should be recognized, because employees usually decrease their efforts and mental activity once they are "satisfied." Thus, I am convinced that these regular meetings benefit the team spirit of the leader and employees. As long as the leader has participated significantly in the training of the group, the team spirit is preserved and time will not diminish it.

4. Financially reward your employees properly.

Although I believe established salaries are appropriate, I believe a bonus plan should be introduced to reward those who perform special tasks. This way, employees can appropriately be compensated according to their efforts.

Employees always accept and appreciate a raise and then they are ready for another one. Unexpected raises bring unexpected efforts, and the boss should be the guide who inspires cooperation and trust so the employees can communicate his ideas.

5. You should learn how to appreciate others.

Women in particular will try to do more for appreciation than what they would do for money. At the beginning I mentioned that sometimes there would not be success unless there was someone who acted as a leader and influenced others directly or indirectly. I can assure you that one ingenious way to become a leader is by being appreciated by others. This is the way clever wives practice and acquire. Have you observed this?

A well accomplished work must be rewarded either monetarily or by appreciation. Every leader should practice this concept. History tells us that Napoleon gave us a good example of this philosophy when the exhausted army messenger's horse dropped dead at the feet of Napoleon when the soldier delivered he documents, Napoleon told him that he could have his personal beautiful horse and the messenger stuttered "Sir, this horse is too beautiful for me," to what Napoleon replied: "Nothing is too beautiful for a soldier of France." It is true, nothing is too magnificent for a good soldier. Remember to always reward those who deserve it. Be appreciative of their efforts. Let them know you are aware of their efforts and promote your employees whenever there is an opportunity. Can a company maintain its team spirit if, when there is an important vacancy, the company hires somebody from outside? Fill these vacancies with someone from your own team.

6. Never show your pessimism.

All causes and objectives will become useless if the leader loses his optimistic spirit. On the other hand, there will always be victory in sight with a happy optimistic spirit. Sometimes, we all feel tired and exhausted and so do leaders, especially when one is overworked and disappointed. But this is only temporary because during these difficult situations a true leader rises to meet the challenge. The more difficult the situation, the more persistent and indomitable the spirit. Each mishap offers the leader the opportunity to strengthen his determination and be prepared for the next one. Defeat makes the true man and it is in the battlefield and not in a banquet room where one feeds on greatness. It is possible that defeat might cause pessimism in the ranks but in the heart of the general. One cannot declare that because our business is failing we have already failed. This is precisely the time to keep your chin up, gather strength and appeal to our abilities until we reach victory. Any good fighter is so busy that he does not realize how close he has come to disaster.

7. Be a true boss.

Man likes authority. If he succeeds when attempting something, he will aim higher the next time, until he becomes the chief or leader and not the subordinate. I believe in treating people politely and generously. But also I believe a leader should exercise all his authority as appropriate. The best example of these precepts is when you learn to become a leader. Then your workers should admire your strength and firmness, even if they complain on occasion. Thus, learn to be your own master if you wish to be a good leader.

8. Maintain employee's files and history.

Try to maintain personal records of each and everyone of your employees. If you don't have the time to do it, have your secretary do it. In these records write down the hire date, salary increases, promotions, and suggestions for the improvement of the company. Notify your employees that you are keeping records and they will try to provide you with achievements to write about.

By using this system soon you will discover which employees are interested in your goals and which are not. These records will be your guide. Try to have a private interview at least four times a year with every member of your team. This personal contact will be one more step in the chain which keeps together the happy team spirit.

9. Be enthusiastic.

A good leader soons learns that we can accomplish very little by ourselves, it is with the cooperation of his colleagues that one accomplishes everything. The good leader knows that the best contributions one can make to a group is to provide a maximum enthusiasm.

A good leader has knowledge of human psychology. His mental attitude allows him to carry out psychological judgements. Therefore, he must recognize the vitality of a correct mental attitude. The attitude of the "efficient boss" starts and ends with the word enthusiasm. Promote cooperation and social activities among your employees. In each group, there is always a member who will stand up and publicly speak in an assertive manner. Consequently, it will be this individual who will act as a representative of the group's enthusiasm, and who will not be happy until he organizes some sort of social event. Encourage these enthusiastic individuals.

Convince your employees of your company's goals and merits. Do not hold back any news of general interest from your employees. On the contrary, circulate any important news among your employees through memorandums. Encourage your employees to participate more and more. Determine clear and high objectives and encourage your employees by letting out an enthusiastic, "Let's go boys." Never say "Go Boys." In this manner you surround yourself with a successful team.

Besides all of your financial and technological resources the most important is your human resources. It is possible that you might have a quiet and reserved employee but if you motivate him he could solve an important problem.

"ASK AND YOU WILL RECEIVE," Trust in your team, the vibrant heart of each and everyone of your employees beats with energy as they all participate in common objectives.

As you have realized, it is a man's task to manage men.

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