7 Ways to Put In More Than You Take Out
You’re a black hole, if all you think about is what you need from others.
Great leaders give more than they take.
4 things that drain people:
- Expectation without appreciation. You aren’t thankful for behaviors you expect. “We don’t thank people for doing their job.”
- Direction without respect. “I don’t care what you have to do, just get it done.”
- Nit-picking without honoring hard work.
- Showing up when there are problems but not celebrating successes. “Seagull managers fly in, make a lot of noise, dump on everyone, then fly out.” Ken Blanchard.
Energizing goes beyond paychecks and plaques.
7 ways to put in more than you take out:
- Make a list of ways you can pour into your teammates. Engage in at least one act of free generosity every day.
- Agree on what matters today, tomorrow, and next week. People want to do what matters. In order to succeed at what matters, you must first know what matters.
- Learn from others. “What do you think?”
- Hold yourself and others to high standards with tenacity and kindness. Define and reach for high standards together.
- Lead with heart. Connect results to purpose. Explain how they’re making things better in view of organizational purpose. “When you open a door for a customer, you take us where we want to go,” for example.
- Focus on solutions more than problems. Examine problems long enough to understand them, but focus on making things better. When things go wrong, ask:
- What are we learning?
- What do we need to stop doing?
- What will you do differently next time?
- Make people feel important. If you don’t know what makes people feel important, ask, “What makes you feel important?”
Bonus: Forgive sincere failure. Confront negligence. Give second chances.
How might leaders learn to give more than they take?
Love this. I think leaders who put in more than they take out also earn the respect of their team… building up good will for when times are challenging.
Thanks Experiment. Definitely. As you indicate, giving leaders earn the right to ask for a lot from others. The right to lead is earned.
Leaders should invest genuine time to get to know those they lead. Once a leader knows an individual now they can understand
Thanks Aaron. Nicely said. It feels great to be known and cried for.
Love your phrase “seagull manager” — perfect way to describe that kind of behavior.
Thanks Kerry. Hats off to Ken for that one!
What matters and what do you think is the great concept. It is important to see the things from others perspective. When we see the things from others perspective, picture looks more clear. And it helps to understand bigger picture. I also believe that it is important to understand what matters for others. In other words, how others can take benefit out of any effort. Leaders think for others first. What do you think explores the hidden opinion of others. It helps us to see the holistic view of the concept or vision. Without it, we may see only one side of picture.
Leaders might learn to give more by thinking from others perspective. When they do so, they automatically get what they want. But when think for themselves first, then focus gets changed and they deviate from the path.
Leaders lead with compassion. And when they lead with compassion, they follow they heart. I appreciate your suggestion.
Thanks Dr. Gupta. I appreciate how you include individuals in the conversation of “what matters.” If all that matters is organizational interests then individuals are devalued.
Teaching children can be difficult at this time of the year. I think I will try this approach to help focus my classes on what matters for that day, that class. Thanks, Dan, for this post.
Thanks Diane. It seems that looking too far into the future can be detrimental in some contexts. Best wishes.
This is really interesting, I’ve just asked my team ‘what makes you feel important’ 🙂
Thanks Maria. Isn’t it interesting that some of the most useful things are also the most obvious? Your comment reminds me that culture is important to the question. If people feel that leaders don’t care, then the answers may come slowly or reluctantly.
Great list, again. But my favorite is #5: “Focus on solutions more than problems. Examine problems long enough to understand them, but focus on making things better. When things go wrong, ask: What are we learning? What do we need to stop doing? What will you do differently next time?” Problems will occur (or nothing of real value is taking place)! Those problems are bad only if we don’t learn from them.
Am reminded of the Albert Einstein quote: “Insanity: Doing the same things over and expecting different results!”
Another great subject and list of insights and suggestions Dan.
Managers and leaders expect for employees to respect leadership, to take direction from them, to care about the organizations vision and goals. If they focused on giving all that to their people (even asking for and taking direction at times) they would be shocked at how much of all that they got back in return.
Unless relationships are mutually rewarding, they might survive, but they will never thrive.
Philosophy of giving more than what we gain needs to be ingrained. I realised the pleasure of giving more than what is required in the larger interests of the professionals i mentor has given me immense satisfaction. There comes a time in every ones life when they need to do a hard assessment of where they are, what they have done for the betterment of their profession and society. Last do not expect something in return always. If you do so you will be the looser. Great and thought provoking article Dan.