5 Things Great Leaders Say
As Carter and Courtney Reum featured in the book Shortcut Your Startup there are 5 things that great leaders say; I wanted to reflect and expand on them after recently finishing the book.
Here are the five things they shared in the book:
1. “I trust you to do this.”
2. “When you did X, the effect on me, us, the project, was Y.”
3. “I screwed up.”
4. “It’s okay that you screwed up, let’s figure out how to fix this.”
5. “Be sure to come to me if you have any questions or need anything to get this done.”
1. “I trust you to do this.” This creates loyalty. If you don’t trust your employees or partners, they shouldn’t be working for you.
I agree. If you can’t trust someone, they definitely should not be someone that is working with you or working for you. I know we have all heard of micromanagers that want limitless control. These people may never allow employees to do anything without then checking it off. That doesn’t work well though, does it? How can people fully support anything if they are not able to do things their style?
2. “When you did X, the effect on me, us, the project, was Y,” saying good job isn’t efficient.
People need to know they matter; I totally agree. It’s all about being able to show someone their impact. Why do anything if we do not know how it affects the overall project? Why do anything if we do not know how it affects the people around us and the company as a whole? Really, why even try?
3. “I screwed up.” Taking ownership creates a culture where you learn from failure rather than avoiding or hiding from it.
I’ve heard the expression, “If we succeed, all the credit goes to the employees. If we fail, all the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the manager.” I think that is the best way to lead people. It’s inevitable that we fail or make mistakes at least a few times, we might as well take responsibility and show transparency with our people; how else will they trust us?
4. “It’s okay that you screwed up, let’s figure out how to fix this.” Set the tone for a fail-fast culture. Avoid getting angry or blaming.
I believe this is one of the biggest differences between a manager and a leader. A leader will lend a helping hand. A manager will ask the person to fix it and report back. Great leaders slow down to help their team members when they need it, and I will always seek to encompass that trait when I am leading others.
5. “Be sure to come to me if you have any questions or need anything to get this done.” You don’t want people to get stalled because they’re afraid to ask for help.
I think that this does a great job of summing up the first four things leaders say. Saying this reinforces everything to your employees. It says that I trust you, that I believe in you, that you can do it, that I’m here to help you, and of course, that you’re important.
I don’t know how many people do all 5 things consistently, but I seek to be one of them. Let’s build trust a little bit more.
“Leadership is getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.” — Dwight D. Eisenhower
What is leadership to you? Is there anything else that great leaders say that isn’t on this list?