Monday, November 05, 2007

It Takes 21 Days

I have thought that if I played football I would like to play for the Indianapolis Colts coach, Tony Dungy. If I played soccer it would be for Arsene Wenger of Arsenal in England. If I played hockey I would have liked it to be for Scotty Bowman. If I was in politics at a high level I would have liked to serve Bill Clinton and if I was to be a VP in a huge business I think it would have been nice to deliver the messages of Steve Jobs at Apple.

Each of these people are certainly superstars but all of them have on their secret business cards "manager". They are the chief cheerleader, the thoughtful mentor and the humble man. They are very smart in their own right but generally they remain the jack of all trades yet the master of only one thing. They are the masters of finding, keeping, empowering , motivating, teaching and then delegating to the best people. The people they helped shape into the best people.

People trust these men. They trust them not because of their skills or their positions of power, even if the media would have us believe this. We trust them because they show trust in us.

Are you a great manager? When people talk of you do they spit your name or revel in your glories? The hardest part of being great is the patience it takes to help others reach their potential. Great managers, parents and teachers have this quality.

Every day a student will walk down the hall. If they run from you the signs of your management skills are there for you to see. If they want to see you then you are likely doing your job well. What would it take to have them look forward to seeing you?

It takes twenty one days to build a new habit. Smiling, looking for positive things to promote within your staff and groups and thinking about how to help are habits the best managers can see tangible benefits from. What would it take to move your worst employee up to the best, your worst player [in your mind] to your best or your struggling students to confident contributors?

It takes seven positive statements to account for one negative. It takes building a person from the ground up to create a contributor to our society or your team. Today's challenge is for you to begin aiming your positive thoughts in the correct direction. As you'll see from the list of managers at the top that you don't need to be a pacifist or someone incapable of making a hard decision. Tough love is still love if explained properly.

For twenty-one days you need to try and find the good and recognize it. You need to celebrate victories with a passion and with a means to an end. You need to look within a person and see their strengths from their perspective. You need to find the positive always. After that twenty one days I encourage you to look for your contributors and don't be surprised if the worst went to first.

It takes twenty-one days. Now be positive and eat your vegetables...for 21 days!

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