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"The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” — Ralph Nichols

Words. They have both power and meaning. If you’re a jerk, aka a really poor leader, then you use your words like a bullwhip or a machine gun. Your words ruthlessly attack your people with only one objective in mind. To make you the victor.

On the other hand, your words can elicit real connection. You know, the kind you can have with a friend, or someone you hope to work with for years to come. A human relationship that transcends simply doing work. You see, the phrase “it’s just business” is dead. It will never be revived. All of this life and work that we do is about people, and people are what you and I need to be about. Your people are your most precious commodity and valuable asset.

  • You’re leading people to accomplish something great. You aren’t in a vacuum, and can’t do this alone. You need them as much as they (hopefully) need you...
  • If they are with you on this journey, then they have their dreams all wrapped up with you as well. Acknowledge and appreciate their stake in this game.
  • Your people really are your most valuable asset. SINCE this is true, why don’t you act like it? It would be greatly appreciated on their part, and will absolutely be reciprocated! They need you to acknowledge their worth and contribution.

Sometimes we all just need to stop and take a look around. It is easy to get all bought up in the day to day grind and lose focus on what this is all about. When you do this, take the time to focus on the people who are in the grind right along with you. Take a pause, sound the cheer, shout the battle cry! Wake them up along with you and enjoy the process. Have fun with them and let your people know that they can enjoy this journey with you!

Be careful. This could start something big!

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Comment by Peter A Ferguson on July 21, 2012 at 12:31am

Thanks for the blog. I only have a team of two contractors. One just received a great offer and will be moving on and I'll be bringing on another who has a different skill set and experience and I expect to go to new heights and levels not previously obtained.

The Scout motto about outdoor activities is to "leave it better than you found it." It used to be "leave no trace." 

In applying to people, I hope I never leave a person with whom I work as "traceless." I hope I always leave them better than I found them - and that they leave me better as well. This certainly can be said for my team member who is moving on. She has helped me understand a lot about how I manage and some weaknesses I needed to overcome.

Definitely can recommend the book "Multipliers" by Liz Wiseman. Leave a comment on my blog at www.learnactshare.com and I'll send you free chapter summaries through chapter 4 so you can see if it is a book you would like. 


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