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The Difference between Good and Great Employees Doesn’t Lie in Their Capabilities, It Lies in Yours

 

by Glenn Shepard
September 5, 2017
Category: Management


 

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Americans work 137 hours per year more than the Japanese, 260 more than workers in the UK, and about 500 more than workers the French.
Source: NationalToday.com


 



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Answer this question about yourself…

(and be brutally honest when you do).

On a scale of 1 – 10, how good of a leader are you?

Even if I’ve never met you, I could tell how good of a leader you are by asking your employees two questions:


1. How often does your boss push you to do things you don’t think you’re capable of doing?

2. How often is your boss right when s/he believes in you more than you believe in yourself?


When asked to name an example of a great leader, most folks recite names like Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln, who changed the world.

But you don’t have to change the world to be a great leader, you just have to change people’s beliefs about themselves.

Because humans have the most unfortunate habit of underestimating what they’re capable of doing, self-imposed limits keep most people mired in mediocrity throughout their lives. No matter how much or how little people are doing, they tend to believe they’re doing the most they can do, the best they can do, and doing it the fastest they can do it. (This is related to a revolutionary industrial psychology principle known as The Hawthorne Effect, discovered by AT&T’s primary supplier in the 1920’s.)

Everyone knows that leaders become leaders by leading people to places they would not have gone on their own. But when you manage employees, that often means pushing people to do things they think are unrealistic.

Some will complain, push back, argue, and fight you on it. Others will call you names like Task Master, Tyrant, Bully, or Dictator.

But you can’t let them convince you to back down if you want to be a good manager.

Leadership expert Adam Grant, who is also an organizational psychologist and professor at the elite Wharton School of Business, says that the most meaningful way to succeed as a leader is to help other people succeed.

Kevin Roberts, global chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi, says that leaders push the boundaries of what’s possible. He points to examples of Amazon, Uber, and Airbnb.

Perhaps the greatest example of what happens when managers push their employees to do more than they think they’re capable of is probably in your pocket right now if you own an iPhone.

Steve Jobs was called all those names by his employees, because he was always pushing people to do more than they thought was possible.

From creating a music player that would “Put 1,000 songs in your pocket” (the first iPod) to making the corners of iPads round enough that they could be held in one hand, he pushed people to do things they didn’t think were possible.

If you want to be a good manager, you have to believe in your people more than they believe in themselves. And this often means pushing them to do things they don’t think they’re capable of doing.



To Your Success,


Glenn Shepard


P.S.
 To learn how to get people to do more than they think they can do, don’t miss the October CD in Glenn’s Priority Club.

 

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