We cannot emphasize this enough: being a boss is no easy thing. Being a great boss is even harder. You have to show great organizational and managerial skills, patience, to have a sharp and fast mind.
You need to strengthen your ”army” and make your employees feel they are a piece of the puzzle in the bigger picture. You have to practice transparency, to inspire and to make their lives easier and better.
You might be wondering how can you be all these things, so we made you a list of 15 times CEOs have shown true signs of leadership to their employers. Maybe you’ll find something inspiring.
- The CEO that turned down a salary raise and gave it to employees – Tony Bennett, the head coach of the University of Virginia (UVA) men’s basketball team, was offered a big raise after his team won the national championship in 2019. He turned down the money and wanted his stuff and the basketball program instead to get them all.
- The boss that bought a new car for the employee – On his first day at Bellhops Moving company, the car of the Alabama student Walter Carr broke down. Because nobody could give him a ride, he walked 20 miles overnight, so he can get to work the next morning. After a 7 hour walk, the Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin heard Carr’s story and decided to buy him a Ford Escape.
- The boss that forgave a costly mistake made by an employee – An employee at a British steakhouse got unlucky when he accidentally served to a table a bottle of red wine worth £4,500 (almost $6,000). The restaurant’s management realized later the gift they made to its customers. The server didn’t get fired and was actually reassured by the management that he’s highly appreciated.
- The CEO that assured a free trip to Hawaii to the employees – CEO of home service provider O2E Brands promised his employees an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii if they manage to double the firm’s revenue in 5 years. Guess who got the vacation?
- The CEO that never forgets to send birthday cards to all 8,000 of his employees – CEO Sheldon Yellow has sent for over three decades personalized birthday cards to each of his 8,000 employees at Belfor Property Restoration. He did it not only as a sign of appreciation but also to improve the morale in the workplace.
- The boss that saved the life of an employee – One day, one of Gus Rodriguez’s employees didn’t look very well, so the car salesman Mike Bell was recommended to go to the hospital. As it turned out, the moment Bell entered the hospital, he collapsed and was rushed into emergency open-heart surgery. Doctors said that if Bell didn’t come to the hospital that day, he could’ve died.
- The boss that puts emphasis on mental health in the office – Crisco CEO Chuck Robbins sent a company-wide email about the importance of mental health, and the responses he’s got were really shocking. More than 100 staffers responded with mental health struggles they were dealing with at the moment, so he worked on providing his employees with meditation, yoga classes and depression screenings.
- The boss that appreciates random acts of kindness – Daniel Lubetsky, founder and CEO of the snack company KIND, encouraged KIND employees to recognize a colleague’s act of kindness with an email to the team. They even had “#kindawesome cards” when they believed someone did something truly generous.
- The CEO who pays his employees to go on vacations – Employees at SteelHouse are paid $2,000 each year to take a vacation anytime they need and anywhere they want. Guess which company’s staff turnover shrank dramatically?
- The boss that surprised his staff with a $4 million holiday surprise – The FloraCraft owner Lee Schoenherr announced during his company’s annual holiday lunch that his employees will be gifted a total of $4 million in bonuses.
- The boss that helped a grieving father preserve his son’s memory – For 15 years, Ray Olson preserved the memory of his son, Raymon Olson, who got killed in a car crash. Unfortunately, the memorial was located on a piece of Chevron property that needed to be upgraded. Luckily for Olson, the Chevron executive Joe Lorenz and Cesar Zepeda teamed up to build a permanent memorial for Olson’s son at a nearby park.
- The CEO who took a pay cut to raise the salaries of his employees – Dan Price, the CEO of the credit card processing firm Gravity Payments, cut his million-dollar salary down to $70,000, in order to raise the salaries of his employees.
- The boss that gave his employees “workcations” – Swiss entrepreneur Christian Mischler encouraged his staff to work whenever and wherever they want.
- The boss that donated a kidney – Matthey Deffebach, a partner at Houston Haynes and Boone labor and employment, helped one of his longtime firm employees by donating his kidney.
- The CEO that started a book club – As a great example of company bonding time outside work, Mark Dankberg, the CEO of ViaSat, created a book club. His employees read books about business strategy and leadership and discuss them in group settings. A smart way of spending your free time, right?
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