The Speeds of Leadership

Be quick to compliment, ready and able to correct, and slow to criticize.

How do you provide input to the people who are following you?

There is an old saying “One oh shucks (edited for a family audience) erases 10 atta-boys. I found something similar in the book “Start” by author Jon Acuff, that states “1 insult + 1000 compliments = 1 insult.” So many people internalize the insult and negate the compliments and in doing so they focus on the insignificant and ignore the masses. So when providing feedback to your team, be sure that you are readily handing out the compliments when they are deserved, it takes a lot of them to make someone feel like they are of significance.

When you see someone struggling or not working up to the expectations, consider how you can help that person. If you, personally do not have the capability to provide the needed guidance, get someone involved that can. On the same note, be sure that you are allowing for a grace period. Not everyone is completely able and ready to work at the desired level of a seasoned member of the organization. There will always be a learning curve, you, yourself experienced one too. It is in the fledgling moments that a little empathy can go a long way in building a good relationship and improving your status as a leader.

Going back to the first comment on compliments, the reverse is true about criticizing. Be sure that when it is time for corrective action that you remind yourself sometimes the truth hurts, but it should never be hurtful. Criticism cuts like a knife, a very dull one, in fact it is more like tearing than cutting. I am sure that you can recall a time when someone offered you, “A little constructive criticism” that was more like a beheading than a clean, close shave.

Leadership is a continual path that we need to travel, there is really no destination, but it can be an amazing journey. If you are traveling at the same speed all the time you will miss some great opportunities to have a positive effect on those who are following you.

If Serving Is Below You, Leadership Is Beyond You.



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