Sunday, November 12, 2006

True Leadership Requires Giving Credit and Praise To Those Around You

My Uncle Roger was an independent electrician in his hometown in the state of Michigan. He had a great reputation for quality work and an amazing network of contacts in the construction and remodeling industry throughout the area that was of great use to him not only for business but also for bartering. Roger was always doing favors for people and always making friends.

Roger was also a stickler for quality and when I worked for him he didn’t go easy on me because I was his nephew. In fact, the first time I worked for him he let me go after a few months because I wasn’t meeting is quality standards. The final straw that summer was when I had goofed up big on a job, which interestingly I think, was a favor. But my Uncle didn’t give me the boot with my head down. Roger made sure I left that summer job feeling like a winner.

When my goof-up became apparent, Roger showed up to the site hours early and re-ran the cables I had laid the day before which had holes drilled in them. He didn’t make a big deal about the error; in fact, he even praised me in front of the homeowner for doing such a great job. Of course, this was probably more about storing confidence in the homeowner than anything, but still.

This was not the only time Roger gave praise to me or others for things that may or may not have even deserved praise. Roger would give people so much praise for their work it made you want to do a better job for him. After all, he was giving you praise before you deserved it, or even when you didn’t deserve it at all.

This is not easy to do. So often in the business world we want people to see and know how much we do, how hard we work, and what good work we do. Often I hear things like, “welcome to my world” or “now you know what I go through”. I too am a culprit for this. I catch my self all the time wanting people to see and acknowledge my sacrifice, but ingenuity, and my contribution to the things going on. The reality is that people are not that interested in what you do. People are interested in what they do. People want to be acknowledged, praised, and glorified for their own efforts.

A good leader realizes this and lovingly and selflessly finds ways to give others that praise and let others feel good about themselves. A good leader understands that by allowing, or even encouraging those around him to be recognized ultimately comes back to the purpose of the matter in positive ways which naturally impacts everyone.

So be willing to give credit and praise to those around you, and be willing to receive none. By doing this, you can focus on making others feel good about them selves and if someone else does the same for you then it is just one more thing to be happy about.

Comments on "True Leadership Requires Giving Credit and Praise To Those Around You"


OpenID ladyperfection said ... (06:05) : 

Good post about human values. Besides, when I help people, I stroke my ego as well, because I understand that I outstrip them in something :)


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