Your influence boils down to two big things: What you do and what you celebrate.
What You Do
If you want your team to behave a certain way, you have to behave that way yourself. It’s really that simple and it’s really that hard.
- Want people to show up to meetings on time? You need to show up to meetings on time.
- Want people to be more patient with their teammates? You need to demonstrate patience with your teammates.
- Want people to stop working on the weekends? You need to stop working on the weekends.
- Want people to apologize when they make mistakes? You need to apologize when you make mistakes.
It doesn’t matter who you are—if you want to see it, be it.
What You Celebrate
When someone behaves in an exemplary way, express your appreciation. This goes for the big stuff and the small stuff. So when Julie does a big thing—maybe she travels to Nebraska on a moment’s notice to help a teammate win a big deal—tell her how much you appreciate her selflessness and support. Then, if Julie doesn’t mind, share the story of her good work with others. Highlight the specific things she did that meant a lot to you so others can take mental notes. And later, when you see Julie do something more subtle, like clean up the conference room after a lunch meeting, do it all over again. It does not matter how big or small the behavior is—if you want to see more of it, you have to express appreciation for it.
I want to spend the rest of my life getting people to ask themselves, “What do I do and what do I celebrate?” Because their answers are their impact.
I would love to hear your thoughts!
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