We had just left the kids’ classrooms to head to the car when the rain started to fall. The drops came so slowly at first that I wasn’t even sure it was raining. With each step, more drops began to drip from the sky with increasing intensity, and I tried to speed up our slow amble to a purposeful stride.
First Try at Inspiration
The children were as skilled at ignoring the raindrops as they were at ignoring my verbal “encouragement.” I tried another approach.
Next Attempt at Motivation
Dude! Your Good Job Certificate is going to get wet if you don’t get in the car.
Honey! What are you going to do with a wet lunchbox?
Did they start to move faster? Join me in a quick jog to avoid the downpour? Nope. They did stick their papers in their shirts and put their lunch boxes in their backpacks. Self-protection at it’s best.
Last Try for Engagement
Hey, Kid. Do you want to lead us to the car? You go first.
… And he did.
Sounds a lot like organizational leadership, huh?
I meant yesterday!
Hurry or the competition will get there first!
Isn’t it time to try something new?
Be a leader that isn’t afraid to move from the front to walk behind, or beside…
ASK: What do you think?
QUESTION: What would you do?
SUGGEST: Want to take lead on this?
ASK: How can I help?
If you’re determined to show your leadership through telling others what to do, try this: Tell them, “YOU need to get us there. YOU are the one we’re following. Show us the way.” And mean it.
How do you inspire and empower others? What works? What doesn’t?
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