For Good, Against Evil

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I was running late. I’d been selected as a delegate to a church convention, but my flight was delayed. I arrived just as the morning general session was ending. Delegates were streaming out the doors in search of lunch.

I spotted an old friend in the crowd. “Anything interesting happen?” I asked.

“The usual,” he replied, “We voted for Good and against Evil.”

Way too many leadership books, blogs, and articles do the same thing. They tell you to do the right thing. The only problem is, like my church convention, they usually aren’t very specific. Do any of these sound familiar?

“Be fair.”

“Develop a coaching mindset.”

“Stay calm”

“Become more open-minded”

You can’t argue with any of those. No boss wakes up in the morning, looks in the mirror, and says, “I’m going to be unfair to everyone all day long today and have a great time doing it!”

Exhortation is wonderful, but it’s not nearly enough. Ross Hidy put it this way.

“If you’re on one side of a stream where it’s wonderful and you want other people to join you, just yelling ‘Come on over’ isn’t enough. You’ve got to tell them why.

Even that isn’t enough. You’ve got to go back across the stream, and then show people where the rocks are so they can make the same trip you did. And be sure to applaud everyone who tries to cross.”

Tell them why. What’s the benefit for them?

Show them how. Demonstrate what to do.

Praise progress.

Again and again.

Boss’s Bottom Line

People will change their behavior if they understand why the change makes a difference that matters to them. That part’s your job.

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