Results and Behaviour Mirror Self-Image

Let your people see how much bigger and better they can be

At a recent people management workshop, a manager said “managing people is the worst part of my job”. It was echoed across the room in different ways – ‘people are difficult, you know’, ‘no matter what I do, it is not good enough’, ‘we are expected to do miracles with the people we have’, and so on.

On probing, these participants knew what their teams have to produce and when their subordinates did not deliver, most rolled up their sleeves and worked longer hours to compensate. And so, the cycle repeats as their subordinates ultimately neither learned nor completed their assigned tasks.

This is common across many organisations that I have worked with.

In a sense, behaviour (and results) mirrors their beliefs. So when their self-beliefs change to include a wider range of possibility, their performance would improve too.

There are exceptions: leaders who are supported by capable, competent, and dependable subordinates. What is it that they do differently? Clue: ‘they have better people’ is a defeatist’s answer.

Speaking to their subordinates, I hear commitment, loyalty, eagerness, engagement, determination and a sense of accomplishment, in their voices. They feel proud and really good that others see them doing well because it tells them that they are stepping up to the challenges of being at their best in delivering on expectations.

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