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What You Feed Grows

What would you like to increase in your team? Perhaps you would like to see more cooperation, collaboration and ownership. You might wish for team members to be more focused on both internal and external customers. Maybe an increased efficiency and production is what is needed.

Here’s a leadership reminder …. If you want something to grow, it needs to be fed. In the world of human capital, attention and focus is the food. What are you feeding your team? I am encouraging you to look for what they are doing right, and focusing more time and attention on that. This is more effective than just finding their mistakes and shortcomings. What you feed grows.

In the words of Ken Blanchard in his classic book, The One Minute Manager, we need to catch people doing things right. Many leaders and managers feel that their primary job is to fix situations and people. Most managers usually recognize the need and value for positive encouragement and affirmation, but never quite seem to get around to it.

I am challenging you to turn things upside down. Make it your primary goal to look for what people are doing well and focus your communication on that. When it becomes necessary to provide corrective feedback, you can deliver it in a context of appreciation and encouragement. A sincere, intentional recognition and confidence in your team is food and fertilizer for their improvement and growth. We will find what you look for, and what you find and share with others will grow.

Certainly mistakes must be corrected and problems solved. I encourage you to create a system of core values, reviews and scorecards to trigger that process. Let the system be the heavy boss, and you be the encourager.

People who feel good about themselves do a good job, and those who do a good job feel good about themselves. Your primary mission is to catch people doing a good job, and then letting them know about it. What you feed grows.

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