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Leadership Lessons: Empower Employees to Solve Their Own Problems

Ann Noder, CEO of Pitch Public Relations

There's no one "right" way to lead a business. Today's leaders have a lot of wisdom to impart about managing the modern workforce, because each one approaches leadership in his or her own unique way. Every week, Business News Daily will share a leadership lesson from a successful business owner or executive.

  • The leader: Ann Noder, CEO of Pitch Public Relations, LLC
  • Time in current position: 7+ years
  • Ann's philosophy: "Arm your employees with the confidence and the authority to problem-solve and come up with solutions on their own."

Don't you hate it when you have a problem with a business and the person behind the counter has to go find a manager to help you resolve your issue? The truth is, many businesses ultimately leave customer service or client/customer relations to one person in a key management position. The reality is, this should be the responsibility of every single employee.

On a daily basis, our team works diligently to land editorial media coverage for both small businesses and big brands. In the fast-paced world of PR and media, there are daily issues that can arise – from changing press deadlines to shifting client needs. Our seasoned publicists work independently to fix problems, create solutions, and please clients and media contacts. If those employees had to call me or our vice president every time an issue came up, the whole system would break down.

When I worked retail for a big box store in college, I handled customer returns. Shoppers had to come specifically to my cash register if they had an issue. If by chance they tried to go to another cashier or employee, the customer would just get referred to my area. That was the corporate system for that company at the time, but how annoying was it for those customers to not get the immediate help they wanted from any employee?

Retail wasn't for me anyway, and after college I worked as a broadcast journalist for many years before finding my true passion in PR. Along the way, I learned from many different bosses with various approaches to management. I never quite understood why a leader would hire someone to be responsible for taking care of their business, and then not really let them do that fully.

As a business owner myself now, I get to do things my way. But that doesn't mean doing it all myself. It means giving every member of my team the self-assurance and power to resolve problems as they happen. That's what makes us scrappy and results-oriented — just the way we like it!

Edited for length and clarity by Nicole Taylor.