Believing In Our Potential
“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”
–Lady Bird Johnson (1912-2007, Former U.S. First Lady)
In the work I do that is devoted to cultural transformation, I am often asked how to get people in the organization to produce powerful outcomes without micromanagement to get those type of results.
The quote by Lady Bird Johnson leaves a clue.
People are likely to live up to what you believe of them. More often than not, leaders unintentionally look for what they don’t want in their people, thus reinforcing the undesired behavior. Corporate culture is essentially an individual set of behaviors – a culture of one – repeated day in and day out. To the extent we see an empowering future for our business, family, or ourself, then we must see that future capability inside everyone involved.
Similar to how Wayne Gretzky spoke about skating to where the puck was going to be (versus where it was) we must learn to see future capabilities and to speak that envisioned future into our people. Every one of us wants to know that we are loved, that we measure up, and that we are capable of making a difference. See who I can be, encourage me, equip me, and trust in me. Most of us believe in our potential when reinforcement comes from the lips of another we admire, often more than when we say it to ourselves…