Mistake Managers Make
There are mistakes managers make while working with people. Here is one example: too many managers consistently fail to recognize their people’s abilities and full potential.
One solution leaders tend to exhibit to avoid falling into the mistake illustrated above; leaders are able to identify the hidden qualities that bring about success, and focus on the “specialness/uniqueness” of their people.
Leadership Insight #2: Everybody wants to be somebody… don’t you?
Even though they will not admit it, you need to realize everybody wants to win. Think about it for a quick second. . . I know if you are reading this Blog post You want to WIN… I know I do… and if you step outside of where you live and ask your neighbor they will say they want to as well. Most of the people you know are struggling to get ahead in their jobs and in life, trying to improve their situation. You probably know exactly how that is.
The reality is if you’re like most people, you have difficulty seeing yourself as “somebody special.” I know you understand your special to your family and friends, but when you think about “being somebody”, a person admired in business. Chances are you don’t think about yourself as that “somebody”. We have all read stories about great leaders in business. You may even know people who seemed to have it all (i.e. the right schools, the right “connections,” the right job, the right social circle) the ones people say were meant to be successful. What is unfortunate about this, you don’t really see yourself as one of those people.
If that is how you really feel, and I believe most of us have felt this way, you probably don’t see the people who work with you in that way either. It is likely you’ve acquired the same bias and opinions that many people have. However, to be a successful manager, the first thing you must do is change that perception.
Truth About Leading People: There is more to a person than what they have listed on their resume.
I believe that society and business has come to rely too much on a set of artificial standards for judging people in the workplace. It is not uncommon to see individual’s worth being measured by things like college board scores, I.Q. level, and the type of college degree they have, heaven help you if you don’t have one! If you desire to have a job in management, you’d better have all the right “credentials,” or you’ll be on the street in no time.
I can honestly say for many years, I was devastated by this kind of thinking. If fact I was judged in this way. I knew in my heart that I was somebody, that I had potential, and I knew I was willing to work like a maniac to get ahead. For a long time, I just couldn’t see how someone with my background (parents were divorced, Army infantryman, didn’t go to college until later in life) could be a success in business.
Truth About Leading People: The qualities people are made up of on the “Inside” are more important than what you may see on the “Outside”.
So often we are made to feel like we’re just not capable. We are taught that all we can do is make a living, just be an “employee.” We don’t have the right qualities/credentials to make it to the top.
I don’t believe that these “outside” qualities like family background and education are the only qualities necessary to win. When we look at history we learn it is filled with people who accomplished tremendous things without those advantages. I believe that the “inside” qualities count just as much if not more than the outside qualities (i.e. determination, character, morals, and commonsense). These qualities have a power all their own, and are often more responsible for great achievements than the “outside” qualities.
I believe that the “system” (e.g. universities and big businesses) try to make lure us into believing credentials are everything. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with higher education; I have earned a master’s degree, and it has been valuable to me in my life, especially in terms of self-confidence. However, too many times, we’re led to believe that you can’t succeed without those kinds of “credentials.” In my career, I’ve found that, sometimes, the very credentials that many people value so much can actually inhibit success.
Contrary to what many believe, victory doesn’t always go to who society has labeled as the smartest people. Sometimes, the individuals who have “brilliant minds” can talk a good game and totally intimidate people with their intelligence. However, I have learned that, often, people who are exceptionally smart spend too much valuable time trying to analyze things (the analysis that causes paralysis) . They read as much as they can; they are looking for an easier way, a quicker way or maybe a better way. Too often, this leads them down the path in which they just don’t get around to actually doing anything. I’ll take a “do-er” with plain old commonsense any day. We need the planners and the thinkers but sometimes we just need to follow Nike’s slogan:
Just Do It! – Nike
Truth About Leading People: Victory in our economy goes to a different kind of person than most people believe.
The people I see in free enterprise who are really successful aren’t geniuses; they don’t sit around and think all day; they’re not necessarily the most traditionally educated or the most experienced. They are the type of people who want to WIN so bad that they just go out there and “do it”. Even though everybody they know (especially the ones closest to them) has told them that they can’t succeed, there is no money in the field/business/opportunity they are pursuing. These individuals go out there and succeed anyway. They know, instinctively, that determination and perseverance are far more important than fancy methods and lofty theories.
These individuals don’t expect something for nothing, and they don’t expect it to come easy. Their method of success is simply taking massive action. A lot of people have “big” ideas, but nothing in the world is cheaper than a good idea without any action behind it. The problem is finding someone who is willing to execute on these ideas. I’ve learned that 99% of the people quit before they can do what it takes to turn their good ideas in to profitable realities. Hell, I have done this a few times and kick myself because of it. . .
I don’t know why I’m like I am, but something inside of me won’t ever let me be satisfied. My self-talk keeps saying, “Go for it!” “Don’t Quit!”, “Muscle Through it!” because you aren’t supposed to be average and ordinary, Ben. You’re supposed to make a difference with your life your are supposed to make a difference in others!” I believe this feeling, more than anything else, and it is responsible for my current success and future success.
If I have learned one thing over the years, it is: there has never been a test, and never will be a test, that can measure the heart of a man or a woman. You just can’t give a test that can look inside of people and tell you what they’re capable of. The only way you can tell is to put them out on the field, give them a chance to prove what they can do, and offer the leadership that they need to do their best.
Truth About Leading People: Key to victory is a will to win (the Fire in the Belly).
I believe the one quality that’s more important than all the others is a WILL to WIN (Fire in the Belly). Show me a person who’s totally obsessed with being somebody (winning in life), and I’ll show you a person who can figure out a way to just “Make It Happen”. It doesn’t matter what the odds are stacked against them, and it doesn’t matter how long or how hard they have to work to get there. The individual that wants to be somebody, so bad he or she can’t sleep at night, and I’ll show you a person who is going to go out there and build a successful career.
Now in many organizations/departments, a “will to win” doesn’t count for much, because it’s not a quality you can measure with a test. However, if you’re going to be an effective leader, you need to learn to identify it.
History and personal experience has shown me that the ideal candidate to hire at any level is the person who wants to be a winner. He or she is not looking for a handout. All he or she wants is an opportunity to make it happen. This person is capable of dreaming, being optimistic, and still willing make a total commitment. The person is “ALL IN”.
Many people have been so beaten up in their lives by organizations, companies and individuals that they’ve become cynical about everything. They think that everybody’s out to get them, so they keep looking around the corner all the time. They are challenged to believe that anybody will be honest with them or give them a real chance. These individuals have a lot of difficulty winning. However, things can change for them if they just make the decision and are willing to “do’ what it takes to WIN.
Show me someone who is willing to go out there and take a chance one more time, willing to dream one more time, and willing to pay the price, and I’ll show you a person who can do something great in there life regardless of the economy they are in. . . especially if they are in a free enterprise system.
I have witnessed many individuals come from humble beginnings to later become extraordinarily financially successful men and women across multiple industries and disciplines.
Truth About Leading People: People desire more from a job than just money.
I really believe that we all desire these three things, even if we are not willing to admit it to anyone: 1) to be your own boss, 2) to control your own destiny, and 3) to work at something you believe in. I do not know if I know many people who don’t have these three basic desires. They may still be an employee of a company, but deep down, they still desire the above listed three things. Every person I know wants to stand on his or her own two feet; they want to work for themselves and build security for their family. Those are the desires and dreams that built this country and many others.
Life has taken its toll on so many that they have forgotten those basic dreams. They went out into the world and were shot down more than they ever expected. The people in their childhood who told them they could be anything they wanted, were replaced by people who were only interested in a strict set of credentials and experience. If they didn’t match up with the ideal, they were passed over.
However, for most those dreams are still there, just waiting for someone to give them a chance to happen, just waiting to grow with a leader who understands that there’s more to a person than what’s on their resume.
As a leader, it’s important to remember no matter how much a person’s confidence might have been shaken because of the hard knocks life has delivered to them, no matter how much they feel like they’ll never make it, everybody wants to be somebody. It’s up to you (The Leader) to help bring out the talent and ability that’s inside each person. You will be the one that will make the difference in whether they win or lose, in whether or not they feel good about themselves and are proud of who they are and what they’ve accomplished.
When it is all said and done, a leader is judged by the success of the people they led during their career. If you want to become somebody, help your people to become somebody special. The more successful they become, the higher they will lift you up.
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