One Sentence That Changed Everything

A young woman taught me a leadership lesson this morning. We were discussing how to integrate a new person into a project.

My approach:

My approach was to explain the project, and develop a plan with the new person. We already have buy-in. I wanted to help the new person succeed by diving into the nuts and bolts.

a bias toward action causes leaders to neglect the human side of leadership.png

Her approach:

I looked across the table and asked Nicole (a 30-something), “What would you say to this new young person?”

She replied, “I’d say, ‘I want this to be an awesome experience for you.’”

One sentence changed everything. I knew I had adopted a project-approach to dealing with people. But, leadership is about people.

When projects come first, people become tools.

10 ways to prioritize people:

  1. Admit that a bias toward action causes leaders to neglect the human side of leadership.
  2. Work toward awesome experiences for new team mates. Why would you choose anything less?
  3. Ask, “What will make this an awesome experience for you?”
  4. Explore the nuts and bolts of a project, only after you understand a person’s aspirations and passions.
  5. Commit to the best interests of others, as they serve the best interests of your organization.
  6. Trust people to step up. Give them a chance to prove you right.
  7. Provide abundant feedback.
  8. Give opportunities for reflection. “What are you learning?”
  9. Share your enthusiasm for their growth and fulfillment.
  10. Provide mentors and coaches.

How might leaders maintain a people-focus while delivering great results?