The Lost Secret of Leadership

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If you’re looking for some magic formula – some wisdom of the ages – some quote from someone that ties it all together, that’s not the secret.

The lost secret of leadership is found in one word: Encouragement. Encouragement is THE key to high self-esteem, high self-image, high attitude, higher productivity, and highest achievement. Every time someone is seeking to complete a task, complete a project, come close to a milestone, or compete for a victory, your encouragement may be the very words that put him or her over the top.

As a leader, you have the power to influence, and you make a choice to either influence negatively or positively. The same way you encouraged your one-year-old to walk is the same way you need to encourage your people to succeed, to achieve, and to win.

There’s a deeper secret inside the secret: Once you have encouraged, and once that encouragement has resulted in some sort of victory – celebrate it!

When your one-year-old took their first step, did you celebrate? If they weren’t walking fast enough or early enough, did you threaten them with no allowance or no college if they weren’t walking within two weeks? Or did you continue to encourage – continue to cheer them on until they finally took those first steps – and then celebrate with hugs, kisses, photographs, and phone call to anyone or everyone who would listen?

KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Every poor performance is an opportunity for encouragement. Every great performance is an opportunity to reward and celebrate.

KEY ACTION TO TAKE: Take every member of your team aside this week. Talk to them about what’s happening in their day to day. Support them with an idea. Pat them on the shoulder and tell them they’re doing a great job. Encourage them to keep hard at it. Tell them you support them and to please let you know if they need anything.

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  1. I entirely agree, Jeff. Encouragement and celebration are so KEY. Especially in a sales environment where the defaults tend to be the opposite

  2. Very well said. I think as leaders, more often then not, we stray from the basics. We get caught up in trying to make everything perfect and forget how powerful the little things- even mistakes can be.

    Enjoyed the post.

  3. I love the point about encouragement AFTER a poor performance!

    When someone’s down, you may have the words they need to hear to get back up.

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