During interactive portions of my training much of the audience participation occurs as a result of questions I ask them directly. I am sharing several of those questions with you because of the potential impact they may have on your life when you answer them. The first is of the most importance and that is, “What do you want to be remembered for?” If you are able to respond with an answer to this question, then hopefully you are living a life that is a reflection of that answer. I speak to numerous CEO groups where most of the members are responsible for many employees and millions of dollars. It is always interesting to observe the internal struggle they encounter when posed this question. The answer is so important, because if I have no idea what I might want to be remembered for, then what is the purpose of the life path I am traveling? It is interesting to note that I have never remembered an individual, and the positive impact they have had on my life, based on what they owned, or how much money they had. It has always been the character, values and example the individual has demonstrated that remains the most meaningful and indelible memory of that person.
The second question is, “Why do people follow you?” I am not asking you to think of characteristics of leadership that you feel are important for leaders to be effective. If that was the question, you could provide a plethora of responses. What I am asking is, what leadership characteristics do you possess as an individual that inspires others to respect, admire and look up to you? Is it your passion, fairness, empathy, attitude, determination, and/or kindness? It is extremely important to take a moment and reflect on your behavior traits that positively impact those around you. If you do not know what you do well, then how can you build upon your personal and professional strengths and attributes?
A final question is, “How do you motivate others?” More specifically, “How do you motivate your children, friends, colleagues, employees, and the person you are in love with?” The way you motivate others is you make those around you feel valued. When we walk through the front doors of our place of work do we feel like valued people or just personnel? When my children come home do they feel like valued young adults or just kids? When I see my wife after a week on the road do I make her feel like a valued human being or just a number? I will share with all of you if I treat my employees like personnel rather than valued people they are less motivated to work hard and go the extra mile. If I treat my children like kids rather than valued young adults they are less motivated to listen to their father. If I treat my wife like a number rather than a valued human being she is less motivated to support me, or my career. Without question, the work place is more productive, a family more harmonious and a society more humane when we all take steps to make others feel valued. Take a moment or two to make those around you feel valued. This can take place with something as simple as expressing an amount of appreciation for their efforts, or sharing with them an acknowledgement of a leadership characteristic you believe they possess. I have turned around the low morale of organizations by having colleagues share with one another positive attributes about each other. As a result those who have been on the receiving end of those comments are more dedicated and committed to the organization and their colleagues, because they feel valued and needed. Take a moment at the dinner table some night and ask the children to share a positive attribute about their sibling. I will guarantee you those siblings will be more committed to, and bonded with, one another after that interaction. Enjoy the pleasure of motivating and encouraging those around you. It is forever appreciated