I love this quote:
“The task of great leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it; for the greatness is already there!” -John Buchan
Leadership is not a rank, or title, anyone can be a leader – regardless of position. Each one of us has been touched by a leader, perhaps it was a community leader, coach, boss, parent; school teacher, spiritual advisor, athlete; celebrity, a hero or a friend. I have been and continue to be inspired by several incredible leaders throughout my life, however, the first for me was my 5th grade teacher Mr. Jerry Linkhart; he stirred my emotions and captured my attention; I hung onto his every word – Mr. Linkhart was the first to elicit possibility in me. Throughout my professional career, I have had the good fortune of working for and alongside some of the greatest leaders I have ever known, I credit them for having elicited the best out of me and having inspired me to help other leaders. They didn’t make life easy for me, they challenged me to step-up, to think differently, embrace what was possible, especially when I was feeling it was impossible. Over time they replaced the opposing voice inside of my head with, “you can do this, you got this, I believe in you”. They expected more, not less and gave me tough feedback – with care. Yes, with care, the art of feedback and coaching is doing it with care, knowing your players, your team, your partners, or clients and being able to deliver the right feedback, at the right time and in the right spirit. One of my favorite speakers, Simon Sinek said it most accurately for me, “great leaders make us feel safe” and when it comes to effective feedback and coaching – when the people you coach feel safe, they listen and remain open – and it is in those moments that the greatest possibility of eliciting their true potential exists.
So here are some best practices:
- Build Trust make those you lead feel safe
- Once Trust has been established – engage in productive feedback
- Evoke greatness through open, honest and caring feedback
- Praise progress
- Repeat (Steps 2-4 often)
I love this truism and have used it often, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”
Now go forth and elicit greatness!
Contact MDR to learn more about how The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team can help you start building trust, cohesion and eliciting greatness on your team today!