George Washington wrote: “How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these”.

Understanding and encouragement will take people further that almost anything else you can do for them. Followers want recognition for their contribution. It is one of those things that you have incredible leverage on. The small investment on your part is greatly exceeded by the impact it has on someone’s life. Not only in that person’s life but the lives of those they come into contact with. It has a rippling effect.

Considering its value, it’s amazing how little it is done. Frankly, if it were considered more of a priority in the leader’s agenda it would happen more. Yet without it, any leader’s effectiveness is diminished. It has to become an integral part of what we do.

There are some particularly aggressive corporate cultures where the imperative is t o “just do it”. All my experience is that effective leaders find ways to break through those barriers.

Do you make people feel that their contribution is important? That they personally matter to the goals of the organization?  It is what will make your efforts more effective. Find what’s right in others.

Everyone is in need of encouragement since we live by encouragement and we die without it; slowly, sadly, angrily.


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