The Most Beloved Leaders Do These Three Things

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Coach: “You’ve worked so hard and shown great potential. You’ve earned it.”

Cheerleader: “You can do this!”

Teammate: “I’ve got your back.”

Great words of encouragement from three different people: a coach, a cheerleader, and a teammate. Each one of these phrases hits our emotions in three very different ways.

  1. A sense of accomplishment – hearing how someone noticed that you have been working hard and you show potential to do more (and be more) generates feelings of pride, value, confidence, and worth.
  2. A sense of motivation – hearing someone cheer you on promotes feelings of excitement, engagement, determination, will, and power.
  3. A sense of support – hearing that someone has your back and will support you in your task or endeavor brings feelings of safety, security, connectedness, and trust.

All three of these are critical parts of creating an environment where people feel appreciated, valued, and trusted to do their best work.

We all want to work in a place that makes us happy to be there, welcome to be ourselves, and encouraging to contribute at our highest levels.

That is why it is so important to be a leader who can do all of these things. We don’t need to hire separate people (coach, cheerleader, and teammate) to build a company culture that energizes people to want to come to work.

We can do all of these things, ourselves, as great leaders.

It doesn’t take much effort to acknowledge someone’s good work, encourage them to do more, and be there for them if they need a little help or guidance.

And yet, we miss the opportunity all too often.

Look, things are going to be hard as we all get back to work; and things will be running at full speed before you know it. That is why it is so important to play all three personas at work.

You’ve got to be an empowering coach providing the feedback, the evaluation, the delegation, and the promotion, in order to help your team members understand that you value their contributions and are willing (and able) to put them in more rewarding roles.

You also have to be an energetic cheerleader bringing positivity, optimism, encouragement, and motivation, so people feel upbeat and excited to be on your team.

And you’ve got to be a dependable teammate guiding, supporting, and assisting when needed, so people feel that they can take little risks, that it’s ok to make mistakes, and someone will be there to catch and carry them if/when they fall. (Sometimes you’re going to have to pitch in and carry the load.)

Lead by example, standing side by side, and finish the work together.

Be the leader people talk about when they are asked:

  • “Who had the biggest influence on you or your career?”
  • “Who made the biggest impact on who you are today?”
  • “Who is your favorite boss of all time?”

We all have opportunities to be great and show greatness. How will you do that? Will it be as a coach? Will it be as a cheerleader? Will it be as a teammate?

Or will you show your greatness by being a coach, a cheerleader, and a teammate all in the same moment?

It can be done, you just need to seize the opportunity. Do that!

Your Mindful Moment:

Leaders lead through coaching, cheerleading, and being great teammates.

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