Helping People Win at Work

Meaningful lines from

Polvera Publishing and Garry Ridge, New Jersey, 2009

  • … the well-being and personal growth of the people you’re leading are as important – if not more so – as the goals you seek to achieve.
  •  … we define leading at a higher level as the process of achieving worthwhile results while acting with respect, care, and fairness for the well-being of all involved.
  • At its best, leadership is a partnership – one that involves mutual trust and respect between two people who work together to achieve common goals. When that occurs, both leader and direct report have an opportunity to influence each other. Both parties play a role in determining how things get done. In other words, it’s all about we, not me.
  • … we often let past experience rule our current behavior. It’s also easy to let the music of life drown out alarm bells. Sometimes good and bad sounds block our awareness, especially when things are going well. The cheering of success sometimes blinds us, and we dismiss the real opportunities that can come from success.
  • A team is about winning and getting stuff done in a positive way. While that’s important, a tribe is a much richer concept.
  • A tribe is a place you belong; a team is something you play on once in a while.
  • SMART is a widely used acronym for what a well-defined goal looks like:

S – specific. It is observable and measurable. If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it.

M – motivational. You have to look at both competence and commitment.

A – attainable. You don’t want to set goals so hard that the person doesn’t have the chance to achieve them. These are goals that are moderately difficult but achievable for the person.

R – relevant. Each goal chosen should directly contribute to the company’s bottom line or support the efforts of those who do.

T – trackable. You want a goal that you can track over time. That way, during periodic review sessions you can praise progress or redirect efforts, depending on how the individual is doing on the goal at that moment.

  • All good performance starts with clear goals.
  • Stephen Covey says, “Nearly all conflicts comes from differences in expectations.”
  • Competence has to do with skill, and commitment has to do with attitude.
  • You don’t want to save feedback until somebody fails.
  • To make feedback effective, caring and candor are important. Caring is behavior that demonstrates yur concern about the person’s development, professionally and personally. Candor… means being candid and honest with a person in a caring way.
  • Entitlement means “You owe me.” Accountability means “We owe each other for something we’ve agreed upon.”
  • … the highest level of achievement in a company – to have people shake your han as they leave involuntarily.
  • … when things go wrong, we don’t call them “mistakes”; we call them “Learning Moments.”
  • One of the most important desires that people have in life is a desire to belong to something.
  • Sometimes we have to use different strokes for different folks.
  • … taking responsibility and doing the right thing are behaviors that build mutual trust and respect.
  • It’s amazing how much more you learn when you admit you don’t know.
  • When you do what you love, you lose track of time.
  • People who produce good results feel good about themselves.
  • 80/20 rule – Pareto’s Law: 80% of the performance you want from a person will come from 20% for which you want to establish goals.
  • “Full barrel” philosophy – The assumption was that the students come to class with their barrels full of knowledge and experience, but maybe it wasn’t well organized for the subject being taught. As a result, a teacher’s job was to draw out the students’ knowledge and experience and help them apply it to this classroom experience.
  • … leaders need to give their people what the people can’t give to themselves.
  • To be effective, feedback has to be an ongoing process. It’s all about teaching people the answers to the final exam so that they’ll get an A on their performance evaluation.
  • The problem in most organizations is that there is little trust between managers and their direct reports, because managers often have to sort their people into normal distribution curves, or even worse, rank-order their people.
  • … leaders who have the trust of their employees maximize productivity, creativity, and loyalty in their organizations.
  • Without trust, it’s difficult if not impossible to inspire commitment and loyalty from your people. Without those ingredients, you won’t have passionate employees who will go out of their way to serve your customers.
  • The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right… It is important to remember that you should not wait until people do something perfectly right to praise them. Praise progress, because it’s a moving target.
  • Because of new technology, today things are moving so fast that just when a person becomes competent in doing something, that job changes. People are continually asked to become learners. In fact, if you are not an ongoing learner today, your career may be in jeopardy.
  • … a reprimand should end with a reaffirmation of the person’s past performance… The reason this step is important is that when you finish giving someone a reprimand, you want him thinking about what he did wrong, not how you treated him.
  • Everyone is a leader in some part of their job or their life. Whenever you attempt to influence someone else’s beliefs, thinking, or behavior, you’re engaging in leadership… Two thousand years ago, servant leadership was central to the philosophy of Jesus, who exemplified the fully committed and effective servant leader.
  • A compelling vision tells people who they are, where they are going, and what will guide their journey… Because a compelling vision provides a context for your goals. It makes your goals come alive and makes them relevant.
  • Vision and direction get things started wih leadership, but it’s servant aspect that really makes things happen… When leaders with vision serve their people by helping them achieve their goals and treating them with respect and dignity, that kindness is returned to their customers – who in turn keep the business thriving.
  • Norman Vincent Peale shared, “If good news were news, there wouldn’t be much of it going on. The only reason bad news is news, is because there’s not much of it happening.”

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