While at Dunkin’ Donuts reading a book on Starbucks (gotta’ love those kinds of things) 🙂 I came across a very wise saying.
The book, It’s Not About The Coffee by retired company President, Howard Behar with Janet Goldstein, quoted from Dr. Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s classic, The One Minute Manager – one of my favorites from many years ago – which said:
“People who feel good about themselves produce good results.”
Unfortunately, there will be those who interpret this to mean that leadership needs to apply some touchy-feely psycho-babble when dealing with their employees.
I don’t interpret it that way, at all. In my opinion, the most effective leaders do their best to understand their team members’ personal goals and motivations. They ask themselves, “How does what I’m asking them to do align with their goals, needs, wants and desires? How does it align with their values?”
Obviously, the leader of a huge organization cannot possibly know the answer to these questions for more than a relatively small number of people. However, since leadership begins at the top and flows down throughout the organization, the top leader can create the environment where his or her leaders throughout the organization do their best in this regard.
Is it easy to do? Of course not. That’s why some companies, like Starbucks, Southwest Airlines and others reach huge levels of success and others don’t.
Now, if those on your team generally don’t feel good about themselves, the work they are doing, and the company they are part of, will they still do their work? Sure, as long as they want the paycheck. Will they do their best work possible? Probably not.
To the degree they feel good about themselves, a valuable (and valued) member of the team, and part of something bigger than themselves, that is the degree they will most likely be productive and of greater value to your company.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? It really isn’t rocket science. Then again, to paraphrase Behar and Goldstein from their book, rocket science isn’t nearly as difficult as social science… understanding the human condition. 🙂
Have you ever worked with a leader who had a knack for creating an atmosphere where his or her team members felt good about themselves? Did it show up in commitment, production and profitability?