From: The Maxwell Daily Reader, John C. Maxwell
Date: January 12
Title: People Need to Know They Helped
From: 25 Ways to Win with People
In many of John Maxwell’s books he discusses the importance of collaboration, teams, and personnel. Today’s entry discusses the need for acknowledgment, and the essential role it plays in bringing out the best in people. A concept, which on the surface is obvious; yet it is a concept I’m sure most in a position of authority forget to perform.
For Maxwell, this isn’t necessarily just a pat on the back. It goes deeper, as it must make people feel they are essential components to the success of the company. He even goes so far as to say, “It’s not a sign of weakness to let others know you value them. It’s a sign of security and strength.” The forgetful nature of leaders to express true appreciation exists for many reasons, but I think a primary one is a sense of implied need.
“Everyone feels that he or she makes a difference to the success of the organization. When that happens people feel centered and that gives their work meaning.”
Tell the members of your team why they are valuable to you.
The one word which kept coming to my mind while reading this excerpt today was “humility”. We’ve built an image of leadership in our minds of a ferocious, take no prisoners type of person charging from the front. This notion I believe is especially vivid in Western Minds. While, I think the essence of this caricature of leadership is valid it ignores the fact passion often clouds judgement. A controlled passion is a more effective way of leading, a direct outcome of control this passion is the recognition of ones own weaknesses and failings.
An effective leader should retain enough humility to know when they are wrong, and more importantly show their appreciation for their teams. Most endeavors in life involve a collaborative effort, and taking all the credit because you are the symbol of something undermines the efforts of others. They will feel more connected when the leader facilitates the best form of contribution by individuals, and is happy taking a back seat to the ideas of others.