A business owner once asked a wise man for help in improving an unprofitable business.
The wise man wrote a charm on a piece of paper and sealed it in a box which he gave to the business owner. “Take this box to every worker in your business every day for a year,” he told him.
The business owner did so. In the morning he carried it into the store and asked the Stores Supervisor about the level of Quality Control on Inwards Goods. Later, when he carried it into the production area he saw that the Production Manager was in his office reading the newspaper. They discussed the need to be visible on the factory floor. During the afternoon he carried it into the Engineering Shop and found the Engineering Supervisor trying to balance his budget. He helped him by showing an easier way. Every day, as he took the box around his business, he found things to discuss with the staff and help them to improve their performance.
At the end of the year he returned to the wise man. “Let me keep the magic charm for another year,” he begged. “My business has been a hundred times more profitable this year than ever before because my people are happy.”
The wise man smiled and he took the box. “I’ll give you the charm itself,” he said.
He broke the seal, lifted out the piece of paper and handed it to the business owner.
On it was written:
“You cannot be a leader by being invisible. Your results are obtained through your People. By coaching your People, you are treating them with respect and allowing them to grow and develop. Constant personal communication with your People will help them to develop.”
A Modern Parable on Leadership by Peter Mitchell