Three A’s that energize others
Everyone thinks about themselves. However, noble leaders think about themselves in unique ways. They think about living in ways that take others further.
Even though you’re thinking about yourself and your own behavior it isn’t selfishness because you’re thinking about yourself in the context of energizing others to achieve noble ends.
How to energize others?
Abandonment – unreserved dedication to the mission and vision of your organization. Everyone needs to feel you’re passion. I’m not saying jump up and down and get red in the face. I’m saying put enough skin in the game so that failure matters. Don’t hedge your bets. Invest personal collateral in your organizations vision.
When you protect yourself, others
draw back and protect themselves.
Abandon yourself more heavily in vision rather than mission.
Affirmation – make positive statements at least 4 times more than negative statements. You’re always dealing with problems. You’re always thinking about ways to improve your team’s performance. If you aren’t careful you’ll develop a negative attitude. Try this. When you see the bad, say the good. Realize positive affirmations energize others while minor corrections and suggestions demoralize.
Addition – decide to add rather than subtract from others. Find ways to lift others higher than you. One way to “energize by addition” is the challenge/comfort dynamic. Challenge someone to step out of their comfort zone. Let them feel the pressure and then add comfort to them by expressing confidence in their abilities and explaining how you’ll help. When a good person is 70%-80% ready for a new challenge, push them off the cliff and then help them land with both feet on the ground. They’ll be energized.
Editorial Note: I’m proposing to go through the alphabet of leadership. Today is the letter “A.” Tomorrow is “B” and so on.
What “A’s” of leadership can you add to the discussion?
Nice post Dan! Keep ’em coming.
For this post, I would add “authenticity” as another “A” of leadership — which is not to be confused with brutal honesty.
Authenticity is key to building a bonded team and a culture where all can and want to A) generate innovative ideas, B) voice concern over an idea that may lead the org. to disaster, and C) continue to personally and professionally grow in depth, caring and ability.
Also, I echo your point about speaking positively more than negatively. Frequently cynics try to mis-represent this approach as running away from the truth. So untrue. Positive speak does not mean lying. It means commending every time it’s true and wording criticism in a forward focused manner.
Here’s a post that adds to all your A’s for leadership. The contents don’t all start with “A”, yet they are valuable for leadership.
I welcome comments and insights there as well.
Thanks for dropping in to LF again. I appreciate it and always enjoy your comments.
I’m taking away, “word criticism in a forward focused manner.” Thats wisdom.
Thanks for leaving a useful link to one of your blogs. I went over and read it and left a comment for you too.
Success to you,
A very good post about A’s of leadership. I would like to add thee A’s of leadership with existing one. It is ask, advise and adulate. Leader has to ask and advise others and to himself as well. He has to give something to others and take somethings from others. In fact, it is a two way process of learning. Leaders are not perfectionist. They need to learn everyday and every time from everyone on its way. You have rightly mentioned ” when you protect yourself, others will protect themselves more”. This is just like Pygmalion effect.Treat others as the way you like to be treated. Leaders has to be trustworthy and when people create trust and take little risk, followers take more risk. However, leader has to protect from adulation. Adulation is a flattery to protect or to get position. So, any leader has to keep away from adulation.
Great seeing you on this Monday morning.
While reading your comment, I was particularly struck by “adulation.” As you say, be careful or turn away from adulation. I think we have all see people get puffed up rather than humbled with success. It isn’t pretty.
One of the greatest tests a leader faces is success and the corresponding adulation that comes with it.
What a fun idea to go through the alphabet like that… Okay, so I would like to add ‘Attention’ to the A-list. Joanna Howard says, “Given high quality attention at the appropriate moments, individuals feel better, work better, and put their energies into doing well.”
Audacious…in a good way, in the visual thesaurus link that is daring, dauntless, risk-taking, fearless, brave, candid, dashing, spirited, spunky, transparent, and assertive (hmm another one?)
I think it’s audacious to be assertive … 🙂
Reading audacious I get the feel of bigger than life. I like the idea of audaciously going after something.
Best to you,
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Dan – great post, great comments. How about my favorite A’s: Aspiration and Agility? Aspiration creates the Pole Star that leaders need to navigate. Agility allows them to stay on course by tacking in the face of changing winds.
Looking forward to the B’s!
Great seeing you again. Love your “A” words.
Your comment about agility reminds me that the path to our goal is never a straight line. We always make course adjustments. If we don’t, we’ll miss the mark.
Thanks for the good word.
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Attention, as in attention to detail. Too many leaders shoot from the hip and fail to recognize the details that follow in their decisions – BP and the specter of “unintended consequences.”
Thanks for your “A.”
It stings a bit for me because I am a vision guy and details don’t arrest my attention.
My best to you,
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I finally thought of one to add…Accountability.
When someone does something on-target you can energize them by using positive accountability. Celebrate their accomplishment, pat them on the back, take the time to show them the impact of their actions. When we focus on the positive and take the time to point it out people will be energized and will continue to perform at a high level.
Likewise when someone on the team isn’t meeting the expectations accountability can sometimes energize them by redirecting their behaviors. If nothing else it will energize the team because people want leaders to hold others accountable for their actions or in-actions. When you do, they will believe in the cause and will continue to contribute.
I look forward to exploring the rest of the alphabet with you Dan!
Cool word and cool application. I haven’t even gotten to the C’s and I’m having a blast.
Love seeing everyone’s words and the way they apply them.
I’ll be looking for you,
Acknowledgement – give credit where it’s due and give it often
Good innovative way of learning on essentials of leadership. I shall put attitude, aptitude and anxiety to succeed as 3 important As of leadership.
The positive mind-set, aptitude in the form of trying new things with risk-taking ability and good anxiety to meet planned goals coupled with hard efforts are the keys to success.
Ernest Hemingway~ Theres absolutely nothing noble in being superior to your fellow males. True the aristocracy is becoming superior for your former self.