Please Don't Please Me

Please Don’t Please Me

As a leader, if you’re a “Pleaser” you’re frustrating people.

Pleasers focus on whether people are happy with them, where good leaders focus on whether people are happy and productive.Your first job as a leader is to know what it is that you are trying to accomplish. What is your mission? What do you want to provide for your customers, your employees, and your shareholders?

Once that is clear, your job is to become a “Pleasee” (as in, the one who is to be pleased). As a Pleasee you give your people constant opportunities to succeed. The more you communicate to them what a “great job” looks like in your assessment, the more they can “win”. The more they win, the happier they are.

As a leader, your job is to give people “finish lines” much more frequently than the traditional finish-lines that come at the end of big projects, events, or time-periods. Something like 99.9% of the real victories in winning team’s work come when leaders take the time to recognize good work along the way.

In our education system it has been shown – many times – that the most effective teachers are those that give frequent and bite-sized feedback (rather than droning on for hours and then giving one big make-or-break test).

As a leader, in many ways, your role is probably not that different to that of a teacher. 

Tell your people what you want from them…what a “good job” looks like. Do it often. Make it clear, concise, and if possible, not too tactical (i.e. let them figure out the “how”). It’s not being bossy or domineering, it’s caring enough about your mission and your people to give them TONS of chances to win.

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