Washington was "first and foremost, trustworthy and charismatic, and people looked up to him because he stood firm on his beliefs," says Steven Raz, co-founder of Cornerstone Search Group, an executive search firm that concentrates on the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries.
There are some CEOs, business owners and managers who get so caught up in their own importance that they forget whom they're speaking with -- often, it's employees. These are the people doing the everyday jobs to make your business successful. So it's important to take the time to talk with your employees regularly, ask how they're doing, address any challenges they encounter and be open to suggestions from them on how to improve business functions. Craig Libis, CEO of Executive Recruiting Consultants says managers can learn from Washington in that he was a "silent leader." "I think it was John Adams who said [Washington] possessed the gift of silence. He spoke very seldom. He just bought that quiet presence that everyone looked up to, but he was extremely persistent, and I think we can all take something away from that," Libis says. "We can learn so much from listening versus speaking and talking, which a lot of us like to do. Listen twice as much as you talk and ask a lot of questions." Of course, maybe the most important lesson we can learn from President Washington is not to chop down any cherry trees. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski
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