In Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book, “How to win friends and influence people,” Charles M. Schwab explains that his success was based on his ability to handle people well. He considered his greatest skill to be his ability to arouse enthusiasm among his subordinates. In his words: “The greatest asset I possess, and the way I develop the best in a person is by appreciation and encouragement.”
Schwab goes on to say, “There is nothing else that kills ambitions of a person as criticism from superiors…I never criticize anyone. I believe in giving a person incentive to work. So I am anxious to praise but loath to find fault. If I like anything, I am hearty in my approbation and lavish in my praise.”
There is no question that Schwab’s leadership style and ability to motivate contributed to his enormous success as a business titan during the turn of the 20th century. He built his enterprise by building confidence within his workforce, not by tearing them down.
Too often, I see insecure leaders who have a nasty habit of tearing down their subordinates, as opposed to building them up. Tearing someone down is never the right approach to leadership and should be considered a significant character flaw.
The most effective way to get the most out of your team is by understanding both their personal and career-growth goals and then helping them achieve those goals. When you do, you can bank on a productive work force, loyal employees and creating lifelong relationships.
Maybe you have an employee who claims to have no personal growth goals or simply lacks ambition to further enhance his or her skills. If that is the case, shame on you (or your organization) for making the hire. Candidate growth goals should be identified during the interview process and should be tracked immediately following an employee’s hire. Those who feel they have all the tools needed to be successful in any role are ignorant to the future of their own success. Eventually their skills will decline due to the ever-changing advancement of technology. Although technology continues to change the way we do business, there is one thing that will remain constant for eternity: motivating, inspiring, and igniting the inner spark within those who look up to you as a leader will always be the blueprint for a successful organization.
Inspiration is the driving force behind all growth.