Three Leadership Commitments that Cost Little but Payoff Big

The unimaginative and uncommitted blame lack of money for lack of action. But you don’t need money, position, or resources to make a positive difference where you work.

All you need to bring out the best in others is a simple belief, a deep commitment to three behaviors, and a little time.

Simple belief:

You have to believe you have something to offer before you find courage to make a difference. 

If you don’t believe you matter before you succeed, success won’t help much.

Lack of money, resources, or position is an excuse for inaction from those who don’t believe in themselves. Action expresses worth.

The difference between self-importance and self-worth is work.

Jack Welch stutters. He said that his mother taught him to bring his “good stuff.” He didn’t allow frailty to prevent him from making a difference. Believe in your “good stuff” or go home and play videogames.

Deep commitment:

You need a little skill and a lot of commitment to make a difference for your team.

#1. Commit to see and be seen. Walk around in search of things to praise. Monday morning, walk around complimenting and thanking. Say thank you three times before lunch.

#2. Commit to listening.

  1. Look at people. You listen with your eyes.
  2. Nod.
  3. Don’t interrupt.
  4. Ask two questions before making one statement.
  5. Count out six seconds when someone stops talking.

#3. Commit to celebratory touch. Pat people on the back. Give high fives and fist bumps. The need for touch is in our DNA. Avoid any type of touch that suggests familiarity or intimacy. Also, consider your culture.

A little time:

How much time could you dedicate to your three commitments. Fifteen minutes? Most can be fulfilled in the normal course of your day.

You can’t make a difference by doing nothing and blaming others.

What are some free or low cost behaviors that any leader might do?

Which commitment is most difficult for you? What might you do to get better?