INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
In last week’s issue, I shared the best piece of advice I ever heard, and asked for yours. Here are some of your responses – thanks so much for sharing! (shortened for brevity)
** “No one’s a prisoner in their job. Stop being negative. If things suck, either embrace it or escape it.”
– Ed. M.
** “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”
– Sam Fallah (via a poem by Charles Swindoll)
** “Take the time it takes, and it will take less time.” (Pat Parelli)
“If you want it done so badly, then it’ll probably get done – so badly!”
– David Iodice
** “Dare to jump into the unknown, let go and learn.”
“Stop perfecting. Start doing.”
“It’s okay to complain, but don’t just complain. Have a resolution.”
– Jennie Ratzlaff
** On plotting your life’s goals and moves: “Think about where you’ll be in 5 to 10 years and how this move will impact that, positively and negatively.” (Sometimes a short-term decision is to deliver the long-term gain.)
– Advice given to Mary Pickering by her mentor, Mike Malenfant.
** “A good contractor protects the customer from themselves.” (If I want to be the best Project Manager/Engineer I can be, I shouldn’t be a “Yes Man”, that does whatever I’m asked without providing perspective.)
– Paul Binner
** “Always say yes when an opportunity presents itself.”
– Aaron Lodge
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
Here’s a secret for empowering employees, helping them feel ten feet tall.
Apply a veto mindset versus an approval mindset.
I’ll explain. As a leader, it’s easy to fall into your role as an approver – employees bring ideas and recommendations, you evaluate them, then give approval, or not, for them to execute that idea.
But what if, when an employee approaches you with an idea they want to run with, you default to, “Go!” You think, “Is there a strong reason for us not to do this?” “Is this really something I need to exercise my veto power on?” What if you believed the benefit of embracing an employee’s energy and passion, fueling their desire to lead something, outweighs the cost of their idea not working out?
It does. I take this approach and consistently find this happens. Running with their idea releases their expenditure of discretionary energy, which leads to their initiative elsewhere. Which leads to greater performance, personal growth, and so on. All from the veto mindset – “Is this really something I have to “overrule”?
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
You do it 10-20 times a day on average, but do you ever stop to think about it?
I’m talking of course about how you sign off on email. If it’s an email clearly meant to show gratitude, a study of over 350,000 email strings shows nothing beats “Thank you,” or “Thanks,” for effectiveness. Setting those instances aside, I sign off with this:
The same research showed using the sign-off, “Cheers,” proved to be the most effective, producing the highest response rate (other than variations of “Thank you”). I know you don’t seek a response with every email you send, but the measure is a good proxy for a communication that elicits a positive reaction from the receiver (even if subtle in its impact).
While I do use “Thanks,” or “Thank you,” for emails that are intended to express my gratitude, I always feel like I’m leaving the opportunity on the table to exude a little charm. “Cheers” feels friendlier to me, more worldly, and agenda-less. In fact, “Cheers” beat out “Kind regards,” “Regards,” “Best regards,” and “Best,” for effectiveness.
What word/phrase do you use to sign off your emails? I’d love to know!