Let’s face it, no one is perfect. Most of us strive to be and others think they are, but no one will ever be perfect and it is the strive to be perfect that keeps us motivated and on top of our game, right? Or does it hinder our ability to lead effectively?
Think back to when you were a kid and you were told not to do something; did you focus on not doing it again or did you do it again and have to be told multiple times not to do it?
Now think about a time when your parents told you they were proud of you, how did that make you feel? Did you try your hardest to do it again and be even better?
Why don’t we translate these same basic concepts into our leadership principles? Too often, leaders focus on the things that people aren’t doing right. “Why aren’t your results here?” “Why aren’t you doing this?” Focusing the majority of your time here will not form successful, lasting behaviors. Instead, you may see changes or better results at the initial stage, but those behaviors are only there because the individual is solely focused on those specific items. I call it, “Pulling Levers.” You pull the levers you need fixed right now, but you only have two hands and can’t pull all the levers at the same time. Once you let go of a lever to pull another one, that lever goes back to where it was before you pulled it.
Focusing on the “Bright Spots,” best practices and successes, will allow the things that are helping individuals, teams, or businesses to get better and achieve more to be shared. People naturally want to do well. The way to maximize on that opportunity is to build them up and help them understanding how to execute the practices and behaviors that are making others successful. Creating a culture around sharing ideas and practices will encourage and lead to the forming of the right behaviors!!
The 80/20 Rule:
Focus 80% of your time on encouraging, highlighting and evolving the specifics that are working.
Focus 20% of your time on asking, “What do you feel we need to improve?” “How do we improve on those opportunities?” You always want to lead the conversations around opportunities with questions to gain their insight and buy-in. If the conversation isn’t headed in the right direction, then ask a more specific question around the topic you need to address. “What do you think about ______?” “How do you feel ______ is going?”
Act Different, Expect Different, Inspect Different, and Account Different!!
“The riskiest place in business is thinking that somehow the same behaviors are going to lead to different results.” ~Robin Sharma
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” ~ Albert Einstein