Believe in People: The Vitality of Authentic Leadership
You’re a drummer without a band – annoying – until you believe in people.
Humanity is essential to…
- Communicate effectively.
- Solve problems optimistically.
- Delegate thoughtfully – in ways suitable to an individual’s talents and aspirations.
- Hold yourself and others to commitments consistently.
- Seek and give feedback constructively.
- Inspire vision expectantly.
- Challenge people and processes courageously.
Leaders infuse vitality into stale leadership skills when they believe in people.
Let me tell you a story about the best gift I ever received. It was December 25, 2022.
The best gift ever:
I love E.B. White’s writing, so I was delighted to receive several of his books for Christmas last year. My wife also gave me Writing Tools by Roy Peter Clark and some moleskin journals.
I love everything about my gifts. I love the words on the pages. I love smelling the paper and filling the pages in my journals. But no one saw the best gift that day except me.
The best gift ever is knowing my wife believes I might actually be a writer.
When you believe in people you help them believe in themselves.
Symptoms you don’t believe in people:
- Lack of trust.
- Doing everything yourself.
- Finding excuses to lower the bar.
- Blaming and backstabbing.
- Fear of innovation.
- High turnover.
Help people believe in themselves:
When we lack self-belief, we manufacture dragons that prolong pain. We don’t dare grow and change. Instead, we cling to discomforting realities like an abused woman afraid to leave her abuser.
When you believe in people you:
- Energize the heart.
- Elevate compliance to engagement.
- Activate courage. And everything meaningful requires courage.
- Enable endurance.
- Infuse satisfaction into life.
What do you believe about the people on your team?
Can you say…
- “I’m counting on you.”
- “You’re the person for this job.”
- “I believe in you.”
Belief transforms people.
How might leaders infuse people with belief?
The Insane Side of Self-Belief
16 Practical Ways to be an Inspirational Leader
How to Build Confidence in Others
Wow, the line about the best gift really caught me. On a related note, my wife often gives me art supplies because I draw and paint when I have time. Wouldn’t you know it but something got in my eyes as I finished that line, and it was hard to keep reading.
Hi John. We should talk more about the power of believing in people and explore ways to express our belief in them.
PS I do believe something got in your eyes. It happens to me when I share the story of the best gift ever with friends or clients.
Dan–that’s a great list.
When you believe in people you:
–Energize the heart.
–Elevate compliance to engagement.
–Activate courage. And everything meaningful requires courage.
–Infuse satisfaction into life.
Because I respect your work, Paul, your words are deeply encouraging.
I think your wife believes something your followers have known all along. You are a fantastic writer!
Your writing in this edition reminded me of a brief latin phrase I have loved and utilized with some great teams over the years: cor unum. When we think of each other as working together (and since the amount of time spent working together is such a high proportion of our waking hours, it evolves into “living together”), the better we do this the more closely we come to having “one heart”. Thanks for what you do, Dan.
Brilliant expression. One heart is much easier between people who believe in each other. 🙂
As a relatively new manager, this is the type of guidance I look for. I appreciate you sharing your expertise. In general, my plan is to be the type of leader I would like to have. This helps to build out my strategy. Thank you!
This post is great timing for me! One of our newest initiatives is VOE (Voice of the Employee). Your point, “When you believe in people you: Elevate compliance to engagement,” resonates with me. Thought provoking! So many times team members comply but don’t engage. It’s a heavy lift to shift current state TO engagement.