How to Help Snails Keep Up


Who’s falling behind? Thriving organizations leave those who don’t grow, behind. Change leaves those who don’t change frustrated, wondering what happened.

The puzzle changed and they don’t fit.

Helping snails keep up:

Successful leaders are people watchers. Know who’s falling behind.

Watch people first and performance second.


  1. Energy levels. What drags down?
  2. Frustration levels. What frustrates?
  3. Happiness levels. What energizes?
  4. Development levels. What training or initiatives captivate their attention?
  5. Change levels. What’s changing in them or their circumstances?

Performance is about people. Capable people, who fit in, love delivering the goods, when they believe in the mission. How are you enhancing capacity, building health, and aligning with mission? How are you helping others fit in?

Performance is a result; people are the end.

Go positive not negative. Positive motivates. Positive interactions create positive environments. If all you do is fix problems, all you’ll see are problems to fix.

Publically affirm attitude, first.  Praise performance later. Organizations that value transparency and authenticity should publically acknowledge it when it’s seen, for example. If you value positive environments, cheer those who cheer others.

Honor people before praising performance.

Look through behaviors; speak to attitudes. Build spirit and soul. Connect. But, don’t neglect performance.


Placing people first builds foundations for tough conversations about performance later. Build relationships. Affirm people. Connect. Think how they think.

High performance energizes healthy people.

Call for exceptional. Low performance frustrates healthy people. “People first” isn’t lowering expectations. Go ahead, raise the bar. Healthy people rise up.

Pour into them if you expect them to pour out for you.

Strong relationships result in strong performance, but you must call for it. On the other hand, when people complain, “They’re never satisfied,” you’ve built lopsided, negative environments.

How can leaders help snails?

keynotes and workshops