7 great quotes from The Heart of a Leader by Ken Blanchard
And what they mean to me
1. The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right
It's part of the one minute praise. It makes people feel good they are being acknowledged for doing something right and when you feel good, you feel motivated to do it more (and better) next time. It's a stark contrast to catching people doing something wrong.
2. Don't wait until people do things exactly right before you praise them
In combination with the above, you want to catch people even if they're not perfect. Otherwise you're going to instill in people the idea they only get praise when they're perfect and so they're not going to do anything unless they can do it perfectly.
3. Success is not forever and failure isn't fatal.
Remember that one success does not make you. Maybe you get that dream job but you still have to work at it every day. Or you have a million (or billion) dollars and never have to work again, but you still have to manage the money properly.
On the other hand, a failure is never fatal. If you can get back up and try again, a failure is just another obstacle on your way to eventual success.
4. In managing people, it is easier to loosen up them to tighten up
I think about managers who micro-manage others. It's better to micromanage them early when you're not sure of their ability, and then you can loosen up as you understand what they can do and trust them. But if you give them free rein and then try to micro-manage them later, they will feel it.
5. Your game is only as good as your practice
Some people are 'natural' presenters. Others are 'natural' at negotiation. I don't think it's natural - I think they have practiced (and made mistakes) and that's why they're so good. You never see the hours someone puts in to practice their presentations or the hours spent negotiating with all kinds of people outside of work.
6. People in organisations need to develop a fascination for what doesn't work
Ken's point here is when something goes wrong, the first thing people tend to do is to figure out who to blame. Who made this mistake? Rather, the first response should be "What happened" and "How do we fix this so that it doesn't happen again"
7. Leadership is not something you do to people. It's something you do with people.
The best leaders I have worked with bring people along. They let people in early on the strategy they're thinking about or the plans they have, even if it's a vague idea in their head. The worst leaders I have worked with push things out to their teams without considering their input and expect them to get it or buy in based on their authority. Leadership is something you do WITH people, and the best leaders leverage the expertise of everyone on their team.