Hey Leader, Wake Up and Hear the Feedback

Eric Harvey and my friends at Walk the Talk Company have just released a new book called Hey Leader, Wake Up and Hear the Feedback.  It contains 145 pieces of leadership and career success advice chosen from over 500 submissions.   If you’re an aspiring leader, or are already in a leadership role, it’s well worth the $14.95 investment.

Here’s how Eric defines leadership…

L Learning and Development

E Energizing and Engaging Others

A Attitudes Carry the Day

D Driving High-Quality Results

E Encouraging Innovation and Creativity

R Responsibility: Taking It and Giving It

S Serving With Passion

H Helping Others Succeed

I Inspiring Ethics and Integrity

P Practicing What You Preach

The above list is also the table of contents for the book.  My thoughts were included in the book in the “Inspiring Ethics and Integrity” section…

“Leading people is a privilege that needs to be earned — every day.  Everyone has something to offer.  Great leaders help bring out the best in the people they lead.  They do this by building trust.  The more you demonstrate trust in the people you lead, the more they will trust you.  Make sure that every interaction you have with someone you lead improves the level of trust that person has in you.  Deliver on your commitments.  Let the people you lead know if you can’t deliver on a commitment – right away.  Give credit where it is due.  Everyone likes to work for a leader who shares the credit for a job well done.  Finally, we all make mistakes.  Own up to yours.  You’ll become known as a straight shooter – honest with yourself and others; and more important, worthy of the privilege of leading people.”

Leadership is all about relationships.  So is life and career success for that matter.  I devote 20 tweets in my career advice book Success Tweets to relationships.   .  Relationships are an important key to creating the life and career success you want and deserve.  None of us can do it alone.  We all need other people if we are going to succeed in our careers.

It’s difficult — if not impossible – to build strong, mutually beneficial relationships with the people in your life if you don’t display a genuine interest in others.  Show others that you care about them as people.  Do small things like remembering the name of their spouse and children, asking about their family, learning about their interests outside of work.  You don’t have to become best friends with everybody at work, but it helps tremendously if you take the time to know them as whole people, not just work colleagues.

For years, I’ve made it a habit to remember other people’s birthdays and send them an ecard.  It’s easy to do.  There are any number of online sites that will allow you to store people’s birthdays.  They will even send you a reminder a week before.  It’s a small thing – and one which is hardly ever reciprocated – but people are always pleased when I remember their birthdays.  Remembering people’s birthdays is just one small way that you can demonstrate tha you are genuinely interested in others.

I have found that little things make for strong relationships.  In other words, sweat the small stuff because it’s the small stuff that will help you build and maintain strong, lasting, mutually beneficial relationships with the people who can help you create the life and career success you want and deserve.

A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to preview a great DVD on relationship building called, Little Things Mean a Lot.  The DVD is based on the work of Brigid Moynahan, founder of The Next level Inc.  She is a well-known and highly recognized speaker and trainer.

Ms. Moynahan says that when it comes to relationships, it’s important to sweat the small stuff.  She says that we send micro-messages in all of our interactions with other people.  Micro-messages are the signals we send to one another through our behavior.  While micro-messages are often small, their impact can be enormous.

Micro-messages can help or hinder your relationship-building efforts.  Micro-affirmations help you build and maintain strong relationships.  Micro-inequities hinder your ability to build and maintain strong relationships.

These are important concepts that deserve a closer look.  Not surprisingly, micro-affirmations are micro-messages that we send to other people that cause them to feel valued, included, or encouraged. Micro-inequities are micro-messages that we send to other people that cause them to feel devalued, slighted, discouraged or excluded.  Consciously avoid micro-inequities and consciously send micro-affirmations.

Ms. Moynahan puts a diversity spin on her work.  While I agree that moving from an organizational culture based on micro-inequities to one based on micro-affirmations will build a more inclusive – and thereby productive and profitable – organization, I also believe there are life and career success lessons to be learned here.

Ask yourself, “When do I feel excluded, disrespected and devalued?”  In most of these cases, you have been the recipient of a micro-inequity.  The way you feel when you experience a micro-inequity is the way others are likely to feel when you engage in micro-inequity behavior.  That means you should refrain from using these behaviors in your interactions with others.

Then do just the opposite.  Ask yourself, “When do I feel included, respected and valued?”  In most of these cases, you will have been the recipient of a micro-affirmation.  Work hard to incorporate behaviors that are micro-affirmations into your daily interactions with others.

In short, when you focus on sending micro-affirmations and avoiding micro-inequities, you will be better able to build solid, lasting relationships with the people in your life.  And strong relationships are an important key to your personal and professional success.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  Strong relationships are an important key to leadership and career success.  As I mention in Tweet 123 in Success Tweets,   “Use every social interaction to build and strengthen relationships.  Strong relationships are your ticket to success.”  Build and strengthen relationships by sweating the small stuff.  Focus on doing small things.  Send positive micro messages – the small things that show another person that you value him or her.  Avoid “micro-inequities” – behaviors that demean people in small ways.  Instead, focus on “micro-affirmations” – behaviors that encourage others and build their self-esteem.  In this post, I’ve focused on my advice for leaders – build strong relationships.  There are 144  more bits of great leadership advice in the new Walk the Talk book, Hey Leader, Wake Up and Hear the Feedback.  Check it out.  You’ll be glad you did.

That’s my career advice based on the new Walk the Talk book, Hey Leader, Wake Up and Hear the Feedback.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: I opened a membership site last September.  It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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