How to lead like a boss in five minutes
I’m just back from a weekend’s volunteering, leading one of my favourite activities. It’s a really energising and rewarding thing to be involved with and there’s a lot to get organised. What makes it work are the other people who volunteer their time, effort and experience, at the weekends and elsewhere.
Therefore, what’s the most important thing to do when you’re back? (apart from sleep for nearly 10 hours!)
Easy – thank the other volunteers!
If you’ve only got five minutes and you want to make a real impact in your leadership why not try this. Think of somebody whose spirits would be lifted by a simple thank you, write a card, by hand, and post it.
Don’t do it just because it works as a leadership technique (it does); do it because people deserve it.
Do keep a stock of cards in your top drawer for when you’ve got those five minutes. Just about every brilliant leader I know does this.
Don’t be put off by the fact that for everything people do right, there’s often something you wish they’d done differently. There are other techniques for dealing with those things.
Do be authentic. If your style is naturally reticent, then a simple “thanks for doing that job” is fine.
Don’t worry that people you haven’t thanked this week will in some way be aggrieved (they won’t); but do be mindful that teams and groups are usually sensitive to ‘fairness’. They want to hear “thank you” and they also want poor performance dealt with – regardless of who that’s directed at.
Do take a moment to notice what impact it has on yourself as you search for things to say thank you about and for people to say thank you to. There’s research to suggest that gratitude improves physical and mental health, facilitates relationships, strengthens self-esteem and increases resilience!
Nothing can compete with the power of the good old “Thank You”. You’re absolutely right, Nick. If you appreciate (and listen to) your employees, it’s almost half the way of becoming a terrific leader. Thanks for the article!