When is the last time someone told you, “I’m proud of you”? Not for what you’ve done or accomplished but just for being you. If you are like most people, it’s been far too long.
Those four words are some of the most encouraging words we can hear. That’s why I whisper them to our daughter every night before she goes to sleep.
No matter what she did or didn’t do that day, no matter what she accomplished or how she acted, she will hear those four powerful words:
“I’m proud of you.”
When I was still in college, my father taught me a lesson that will stay with me my entire life. He taught me that great leaders, those people who attract followers and leave powerful legacies, know when it’s time to instruct and when it’s time to encourage.
My Dad and I invited my friend Ryan for a round of golf one afternoon. The weather and the course were perfect and I was playing lights out. Ryan, on the other hand, was not.
Ryan and I had grown up together and for a long time viewed each other as equals at golf. Then, during our senior year of high school, his father was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. Ryan didn’t touch a club for nearly three years.
On this day, I viewed Ryan as someone in need of help. He was hitting the ball all over the place. His tee shots were usually in the trees amd the rest of his shots weren’t any better. It wasn’t the Ryan that I knew. My heart went out to him so I tried to help in the only way I knew how:
I instructed him.
If you are a leader, stop punishing your team when they make mistakes.
Here’s what Jack Welch says about it in his book Jack: Straight from the Gut…and he’s Jack Welch. You’re probably not. (But, if you are, seriously, hit me up, let’s do lunch)
When people make mistakes, that’s the time for encouragement and confidence building. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook
Be a leader. Build your team up.
That’s what they need when life kicks them down.
The same goes for your children, your friends, your spouse, and your family.
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Have you ever been told that you’d never make it as a ____?
At first I thought it meant something was wrong with me. That I was deficient in some way. I felt inadequate every time I was told that.
Until I realized they were right. They were absolutely right…and I was OK with that!
I would never make it as a…
There are literally tens of thousands of things at which I am terrible. Tens of thousands of careers in which I would never make it.
If you are a leader, it is your job to help others find their courage.
And by the way, if you are reading this, you are a leader in some way.
“Encouragement” means to help others find courage. And courage, in my opinion, is daring to live out what can be imagined.
Robin Williams’ character does just this in Dead Poet’s Society…he helps Ethan Hawke to find his “barbaric yawp!”
“I am proud of you.”
When is the last time you heard that?
When is the last time you told a team member or colleague that?
Every night that I am home, which is most nights, I hold our nearly daughter in my arms and rock her in a chair before putting her in the crib. Every night she hears those exact words from me. She hears them other times as well, but she always hears them then. No matter what happened that day; no matter how she acted or what she did or didn’t do, she hears those words: “I am proud of you.”
In James 3 of the Message translation of the Bible, Eugene Peterson writes:
A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
As a leader, this is magnified. As a spouse, it is magnified even more. As a parent, your words hold almost unfathomable power.
Telling someone “Great job” doesn’t count. “Great job” is the minimum. It’s expected after a project is completed properly.