Acts of Leadership

Acts of Leadership

By:  Gary K. Pino, FMP Back in the 1980’s, Thomas J. Peters (The modern day “Father of Business” and the infamous Author of In Search of Excellence), once said, Celebrate what you want to see more of.”  Shortly thereafter, Kenneth Blanchard, Ph.D. and Spencer Johnson, M.D. teamed up to write an inspirational story, entitled The One Minute ManagerBoth sources of inspirational wisdom compiled and highlighted the importance “of what many wise people had taught them and what they had learned themselves.”  So, I am not going to preach to you about anything that you haven’t already heard but rather reiterate some valuable words of wisdom (from them) that still hold true today but with a twist … some thirty-three (33) years later … Blanchard and Johnson spoke of three (3) key principles in their book:

  1. One Minute Goals
  2. One Minute Praisings
  3. One Minute Reprimands

Being a Manager and Leader of our Firm, I particularly and thoroughly enjoy recognizing my fellow Associates for their hard work & results, educational accomplishments and their industry wide achievements; and often let them know how happy I am for them on a regular basis.  In other words, I have totally bought into Blanchard’s & Johnson’s “One Minute Praising” principle ~ hook, line and sinker!  According to Blanchard and Johnson, “the One Minute Praising works well when you:

  1. Tell people up front that you are going to let them know how they are doing.
  2. Praise people immediately.
  3. Tell people what they did right – and be specific.
  4. Tell people how good you feel about what they did right, and how it helps the organization and other people who work there.
  5. Stop for a moment of silence to let them “feel” how good you feel.
  6. Encourage them to more of the same.
  7. Shake hands or express a way that makes it very clear that you support their success in the organization.”

To summarize Blanchard’s & Johnson’s “One Minute Praising” principle, we as managers and leaders of a firm can “help people reach their full potential” by simply “catching them doing something right”, as opposed to laboring over what they did wrong or incorrectly!    Fast forward to 2013, and along comes Susan Mazza’s new and improved “Catch them in the Act” leadership philosophy.  According to Susan’s website, “if you want to cultivate leadership in others, you must continually build the bridge from theory to action.” Well then, how do you “recognize and celebrate leadership in action?”  It’s easy and accessible by simply employing the “3 Fundamental Acts of Leadership.”

  1. Recognize someone for speaking up: for being the one to say things that needed to be said, especially when it took courage to do so” in front of others.
  2. “Recognize someone for stepping up: for raising their hand and for not only taking on a difficult task, but for following through whether they succeeded or failed.”
  3. “Recognize someone for standing up:” for taking a stand for another person, a possibility or even a value or principle.’

The moral of this story is to try to start catching people doing something right and/or in the act of speaking up, stepping up and standing up.  Your recognition and celebration of your co-workers will make them feel good about themselves, help produce good results, help them reach their full potential and inspire them to make a positive difference. Have you caught someone doing something great lately, and then told them how impressed you were?  If you did, I’m sure it went a million miles.

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