The July issue of Toastmaster’s magazine published an article entitled Bringing out the Best in People. The author stated that a Book by the same title was written by the late Alan Loy McGinnis – a family therapist, corporate consultant, writer and public speaker. The author outlined 12 rules from the book that I found to be sage advice for anyone. The advice is not only for “a leader”, but for anyone that steps into a lead position. We all step into this position at times when we volunteer to lead a project or lead a discussion or even lead our children.
Following are the 12 rules with my thoughts included from my own experiences:
- Expect the best from the people you lead. In my experience, I have found that people will live up to your expectations. A little praise goes a long way.
- Make a thorough study of the other person’s needs. Take the time to find out what each person on your teams’ strengths and weaknesses are. Each person on a team has something of value to offer. Showing genuine interest in others will yield tremendous results.
- Establish high standards for excellent. Expect your team to achieve to accomplish lofty goals.
- Create an environment where failure is not fatal. Everyone makes mistakes. Creating an environment where people are not afraid to attempt a new venture will foster and produce many new ideas.
- If they are going anywhere near where you want to go, climb on other people’s bandwagons. Sometimes, it works best to let others lead and be the supportive cheerleader, mentor or champion for their success.
- Use Models to Encourage Success. Don’t just talk the talk – walk the talk.
- Recognize and applaud achievement. Outwardly praise and applaud achievement.
- Enjoy a mixture of positive and negative reinforcement. Let people know what they are doing right and set boundaries when necessary.
- Appeal sparingly to the competitive urge. Most of us have a healthy dose of competitiveness running through our veins by design. Don’t let the dark side of competition creep into the Team environment.
- Place a premium on collaboration. Much more can be accomplished by working together and drawing on each other’s strengths.
- Build into the group an allowance for storms. It’s inevitable, plans get delayed or cancelled or challenged. Work through the problem and proceed with Plan B, or Plan C if necessary.
- Take steps to keep you own motivation high. Keep a positive attitude.