Thursday, 3 January 2008

The Simplest Leadership Practice

The Simplest Leadership Practice
Robin Sharma

Elevate Others

People crave recognition. Everyone needs to know that they are doing well, that they are appreciated, that what they do matters. It is hard-wired into us. Watch someone after they have received a compliment for their work. They shine.

Yet we so rarely call a meeting to discuss what's going right in the organization and who's responsible. We think that its our job to solve problems, not hand out praise. Wrong. It's our job to act like a leader. And leaders make everyone around them better. More capable. More engaged. More positive.

Giving honest praise is one of the most powerful leadership actions you can take. (And remember: if you consume oxygen you are a leader.) No matter where you are in the organization you can find someone doing something right and recognize them. Whether it's a vendor who is impeccably polite, a colleague who is outrageously punctual or a supervisor who listens deeply. Every one of them is a human being who deserves and craves recognition. And when you give them that recognition they will go out and make someone else's day better. What a powerful way to spread leadership.

So think about your organization, your community or your family and try some of the following simple strategies for elevating others. Observe how people respond, the results will astound you.

1. Honest praise. Tell someone what you admire about their performance or their attitude.
2. Public praise. Share someone's victory with the rest of the team.
3. Thank you notes. A handwritten card thanking someone for their help will be the highlight of their day.
4. Support them. Say yes to a colleague's ideas. Find a way to incorporate their input into your plan.

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