Help others help you!

No leader is successful without the help and support of others.  Your job is to inspire others to invest themselves and go the extra mile for you and the organization.  Just because you are the boss and have positional power over others, it doesn’t mean they will always give it their all.

Here are some tips to help others help you!  

Give clear direction up front, instead of making people second-guess what you want or expect.  This will vastly improve the quality of the end result, and the speed with which it is delivered.

Communicate directly instead of having others channel your messages.  Too much gets lost in translation, and middle-men often wield power and agendas that are not always obvious to you.

Choose your words carefully. You might be exhausted, stressed or annoyed, but beware of expressing your frustration too liberally, especially with people deeper in the organization.  A moment of chiding can have an intensely demotivating impact.

Remember the domino effect. However hard you are working, chances are that those under you are working even harder. If you sneeze, your people catch a cold.  Impact of your actions reverberates.

Keep your “say” aligned with your “do.” Nothing undermines people’s faith like a “say-do gap.”  Before you make a commitment, promise, or express an expectation, ask yourself if you are holding yourself to the same standard.