You Amaze Me!
“You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how great you are. You inspire them by showing them how amazing they are.” – Robyn Benincasa, World Champion adventure racer
We all love compliments. Anyone who says they don't is just lying. It's in our makeup to want to feel appreciated and want to feel special.
And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, in moderation.
For a magician, it's far too easy to get wrapped up in adoration sometimes. You do an incredible card trick and people give you the "I'd love to take you to Vegas", or "I'd hate to play you in a card game" lines, and suddenly you feel invincible. But never listen to your own press for too long.
As a leader, you have the opportunity to let others see how incredible you are and why you should be their leader. To be honest, folks need to see their leader shine sometimes to remind them why they should respect and follow them. But at the same time, people follow leaders who inspire them to be better and who bring out the absolute best in them.
I'm not talking about a boss here. You are forced to follow a boss because of your job. We don't get to pick our bosses (unless we quit our jobs and go elsewhere). We do, however, get to pick the leaders we choose to follow.
That's what makes being a leader such an honor: people choose to follow you, or they can take the alternative route of talking about you behind your back or attempting a coup.
So how do you become the leader folks will want to follow? By showing them how amazing they are.
People are filled with potential, and all it takes is that one leader who brings out the absolute best in them to inspire loyalty and determination like they've never seen before. We all want to be our best, and we all want to spend time around those people who bring out the best in us.
I'm sure you have those folks you see while you're in the grocery store that you know and purposefully avoid. You suddenly become immensely interested in the ingredients list on your box of Cheerios and hope they will just pass by without seeing you. And if they do recognize you and strike up a conversation, you are hoping for any natural disaster that could possibly give you an excuse to get away. And why is that? It's usually because we feel that person is wasting our time and/or bringing us down with their attitude.
Be a leader they want to see coming. Challenge your team to be their best, but then don't be afraid to openly praise your team for their hard work and determination. And find ways to catch your folks being amazing! It's really kind of easy when you try. Maybe all they do is wash dishes, but let them know it's the cleanest silverware you've ever seen. Are they greeters at the door? Tell them how you've never felt so welcomed in all your life and that their smiling face helps start the day off right. Do they answer phones? Let them know you've never had a customer complain about having to wait too long on getting answers.
People will amaze you, if you'll just give them the chance.