Listening to the different challenges that leaders face sometimes reminds me of the story about the parents of a famous baseball player named Harmon Killebrew.
His mother complained that all the baseball he was playing in the backyard was killing the grass. Her husband responded to her by saying, “We’re not raising grass. We are raising boys.”
As leaders, it’s easy to forget that at the end of the day, we are raising people to be leaders. That’s really more important than the products we produce or the service we provide because if we raise up leaders, they will produce more and serve customers better.
If we keep in mind that we are raising leaders, these are some things we will be more likely to do. If we forget, then we may find ourselves neglecting the following:
- Intentional Redundancy – We really can’t just say things once or twice and expect people to get it. We have to say things over and over.
- Availability – People can’t communicate with us if they can’t find us. Show people that you are accessible by going on their turf and taking time to listen.
- Follow Up – Letting people know what happened with the information they shared is as important as asking for it in the first place. No one likes to feel used. When you ask for information and people never know what you did with it, they feel discouraged.
- Respect – If you want to raise up leaders, treat them with the respect you think leaders deserve; and most of the time, people will live up to your expectations.