Yesterday I was jogging around a man-made lake in the area where I live.  It was one of those hot and very humid days that Dallas is known for and my biorhythms were not great.  I was pushing myself to keep going. Several times I considered giving up and going home.  As I ran past a couple who were walking their beautiful white Labrador, I greeted them and the woman shouted,   ‘You go, girl!’

Well firstly it was a long time since I had been called a girl – but I guess this was just a form of expression.  But something so interesting happened to me.  I had this incredible burst of speed and energy and I virtually flew around the lake.   On my second trip around, I saw them coming up towards me and I tried even harder and ran even faster.   The lady shouted, ‘You rock girl,’ and I sure did!  I found myself running head high, with an upright,  strong posture and a huge grin.  I felt pretty proud of myself.

This got me thinking about what a great leadership lesson this is.  Imagine if everyone in a leadership position remembered to tell others:

  • That they rock!
  • You couldn’t be successful without them.
  • What a great job they are doing.
  • They are a valued member of your team.
  • You enjoy their creative insights/ attention to detail…(choose a strength)
  • You would enjoy receiving any feedback they have.
  • You are grateful for their commitment to the goals.

If you don’t feel it, don’t say it.

There is one caveat, however.  It must come from a place of genuine gratitude inside you.  It must be totally authentic.  We are all such intuitive beings; we can smell inauthenticity a mile away.

I would have a concern, though, if you are a leader and you have people in your team towards whom you did not feel genuine appreciation and gratitude.   There’s something wrong with that picture.  Either you have hired the wrong people or you are taking them for granted.  Either way this is not a formula for success.

My recommendation:

Think about each person working for you and allow yourself to get in touch with their strengths and your sense of gratitude for the part they are playing in making good things happen.

If you cannot get in touch with these feelings, then consider what this could mean about you or about them.  And then do something about it.

In closing I would like to say that, ‘You Rock!’


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