Over the years I’ve found John Maxwell to be an incredible inspiration to me. His words of encouragement to me as a leader have a lasting impact. I don’t usually repost, but I feel like this message needs to be shared anywhere possible. Here is an excerpt. You can read more at his blog.
Every person makes mistakes at some time in the workplace. Everyone needs someone to come alongside them to help them improve. If you’re a leader, it is your responsibility and your privilege to be the person who helps them get better. That often begins with a candid conversation. But before you have it, it helps to ask yourself what the nature of the problem might be.
My friend Sam Chand says that when he is having difficulty with a person he asks himself one simple question, “Is this person a can’t or a won’t? Can’t is about abilities. We can help these kinds of people in most cases—not in all cases, but in most. But won’t is about attitude. If the issue is attitude, the time to let that person know there is a problem is now, because here is the deal: we hire people for what they know and fire them for who they are.”
I believe that people can improve their attitudes and their abilities. And because I do, I talk to them about where they’re coming up short. If you’re a leader and you want to help people, you need to be willing to have those tough conversations. So how does a leader handle being relational while still trying to move people forward? By balancing care and candor.
Care without candor creates dysfunctional relationships.
Candor without care creates distant relationships.
But care balanced with candor creates developing relationships.
Here is how care and candor work together in leadership:
Caring Values The Person While Candor Values The Person’s Potential
To lead successfully, it is important for you to value people. That is foundational to solid relationships. Caring for others demonstrates that you value them. However, if you want to help them get better, you have to be honest about where they need to improve. That shows that you value the person’s potential, and requires candor.
Every year around this time I start to think about my goals. What do I want to accomplish next year? Where do I want to go, how much do I want to earn and save, and how do I want my business to grow? Those are the kind of goals that I think about and begin to write down.
Last week while discussing some of these things with my friend Scott he pointed something out that I believe will be incredibly valuable to you as you move ahead.
Goals can often be the distant dreams that we want to achieve, but they often lack concrete steps. Objectives are the steps that we identify and accomplish one after another. I really like what this image I’ve included illustrates. The red puzzle piece in the person’s hand is an objective. It is what will help them reach their goal.
The other thing that really hit home with me was that I believe military forces work off of objectives, not just goals. When was the last time you heard the commander in a movie or a real live press conference use the word “goals”? They usually speak about the objectives that they are outlining and accomplishing. At the end of the battle they have either completed their objectives or failed to complete their objectives. They are responsible to justify their results to their superiors and explain why they have or haven’t succeeded. The completion of the war is the goal, while each single battle, and each capture of a strategic point, are the objectives that help them reach the goal.
First of all, realize that your goals will be unattainable unless you breakdown each step. Each single piece that helps you reach your goal needs your complete focus. Break things down into steps that are relevant for your daily life. Make sure that you have someone to hold you accountable, and schedule your to do list. If you are careful to line up the right objectives then you’ll successfully reach more of your goals.
What helps you reach your objectives? Is there something I can do to help you? Contact me or post in the comments and I’ll do whatever I can do to help you turn goals into real objectives.
Are you just trying to make it through the day? Are you thinking about what to do the rest of the weekend or next week? Are you thinking for the future?
Living in the moment is good advice for some parts of our day but we can’t forget to look ahead to what may be coming in our future. What is ahead on your path? Do you have any control of it? You may have formed an opinion already about how destiny treats you, but I’d like to challenge that today. There are definitely some parts of our future that we affect.
Each day you are either making positive decisions that help your future, or making bad decisions that harm your future. Don’t underestimate the power of your conscious or conscious decisions. Think about your future today.
I finally completed the series “How To Grow Your Business In 30 Days”. It ended up being a lot more work than I expected, but it was really enjoyable overall. I learned a lot. I’ll share some of the lessons I learned during the 30 days in future posts. Here I’ve summarized the Grow Your Business In 30 Days using the original outline I created so that you have one easy place to review them and find each post.
Now with everything in one place here in this post you can simply review the general thought process I had behind the 30 days or you can read each post at your convenience. I’m sure that this doesn’t cover everything that you’ll encounter over the years in business, but I have tried to give you some tools that will make a difference in the short term.
How can I help you? Please feel free to ask me any questions in the comments or by contacting me. Here’s to your increased growth and success in 2011!
Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States. ~ Ronald Reagan