PAUL BUTLERClient Partner, Newleaf Training and Development With professional experience that spans the globe, Paul Butler preaches the power of leadership and communication through his work at Valencia-based Newleaf Training and Development. On the web: www.newleaf-ca.com Phone: 661-288-1004 Email: [email protected] What’s the story of Newleaf Training and Development, and how do you work with businesses to help them achieve greater success? We’re a staff training and leadership development company based here in Valencia. We launched in 2006 and have served over 215 clients across 28 states, China, India, Europe and Australia. We opened our first franchise a couple of years ago, based in Florida. We really listen to what our clients need and then we tailor a solution to help get them the significant and sustainable results they are searching for. We essentially help our clients bring out the best of their people. You began writing a column for The Signal’s weekly Business page earlier this year. Why? We love living and working in Santa Clarita and so it was a small way of giving back to the local business community. I also think there’s so much baloney written about leadership, teamwork, time management and customer service, etc., that I wanted to bring some good, solid common-sense principles that sadly are just not commonly practiced. What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned in your career? That an employee can only make so much contribution based on their technical expertise. Over and above that, employees need to be able to manage themselves, influence others and have sharp business acumen. These three skills can help employees move across departments, industries and even rise to the top of their organization if that’s their aspiration. If you could sound an alarm: What’s the one thing that too many managers, leaders and top executives are doing today that will come back to haunt them? My observation has been that most managers, leaders and top executives are self-serving. Few of them genuinely have a spirit to serve. I believe that truly effective leaders turn the organizational pyramid upside-down. Their mindset is that they see themselves as being of service to their shareholders; their board of directors; their direct reports and their colleagues. Sadly, few leaders think and behave consistently as servant-leaders and this is what I believe is the root of the problem within most organizations — poor leadership.