This lesson came from a Jack Welch quote that I just kinda couldn’t get out of my head. It’s when he said:
Giving people self-confidence is by far the most important thing that I can do because then they will act.
…And I love that because I think leadership, as I’ve said, is I don’t want anybody inside my orbit when they’re done meeting me. I want them to be further along than when they met me and able to achieve. Simply put… If I spend time with you, I want you to be better because of it. If you partner with me in business, I want your family to be financially better because of it, and I just think that’s important.
How Do You Give People Self-Confidence?
Think about your staff underneath you. How do you take people further than when they met you? So let’s talk about that today. Giving people self-confidence, how do you do that?
Begin With Seeing the Potential that They Never Saw
I see potential in people because I’m always looking for it. You see potential in people and you in the interview process, or you may just see it in just working together with someone you may just see it in someone that is inside your orbit. You interact with people and you see potential in them that they don’t see.
Not all my business partners came through the traditional route. Sometimes I just had interaction with them and I thought they would be a great fit for something that was kind of rolling around in my head. One of my best business partners was a gentleman who I met through my son’s indoor soccer team, but he was a sharp person. I saw potential where maybe this person didn’t see it. I saw them further down the road than maybe they saw themselves.
Put Them in Positions that Stretch Them
I find potential that someone didn’t see and then I want to put them in positions that stretch them. What I’m trying to do is, I’m trying to advance someone, and I think to do that you have to give people self-confidence.
The one individual that I mentioned about meeting on our soccer team partnered with me in one of my companies, and then we kinda had to feel things out to find that next profit lane that he would be successful at, and I found something that really just fit, as he is very detailed oriented. I’m kind of a big picture type of person. I can get you all excited to get you ready to rush out with a squirt gun, whereas, he’ll tell you how we’re actually going to rush out with a squirt gun. He’ll give you the granular part of it. So we created a business that fits his giftedness. I put him in a position that 10 years ago, he probably never saw himself doing, but I’ve stretched him and he’s fantastic at it.
Provide Learning Opportunities to Improve
We began a new start-up a year ago, and I sent my partner to California for additional training that we paid for.
We always want to advance people. Sometimes it’s just giving them a book. I always buy good books in pairs. I’m going to give a book away like people give away business cards. Why? I want to provide learning opportunities. I’m always teaching and advancing my staff and partners.
In one of my companies, it’s literally a joke inside in my office. I own a lot of different companies, but one is in the home service industry, and I am the least home-service human being you’ve ever met in your life. Literally, I could hang a picture and I’d have to stand back to tell you whether it’s straight or not, but I’m detailed in that I know what customers expect and how to “put all the pieces on the board”, so I have a skill set that has allowed me to do really well. I’m not a construction guy, but I’ve built seven-figure custom homes built commercial offices.
I help everyone on my team understand better how to proceed with a project. I will often tell them to consider organizing it at the end of the day, taking five minutes to create a game plan on what there is to do tomorrow before they arrive. Don’t ever go out buying material without a list. Before you finish your job, you do your own walk-through so that a customer doesn’t hit you at 20 things at the end and you’re surprised.
Expect More and Demand More from Them
To build self-confidence in my team members, I first see their potential. Then I want to put them in positions to stretch them and provide learning opportunities. Well, am I wrong to expect more from them? If I expect more from you, you’re probably going to deliver on it. I want us to move down this alphabet as we get to know each other, so I’m going to expect more from you.
When I hire you and I bring you in, I know you want to make more money, I understand that. So I have my philosophy where that if you work for two people, I’ll pay you for one and a half. It doesn’t mean you’re doing two jobs all the time, but if you have the capacity to perform two jobs, I’ll pay you for one and a half. This reflects my expectations and demands.
Provide Life-Changing Opportunities to Advance Them
I’m always looking for more business partners.
I have guys now that are within my construction company who are in their 50s and their knees are going bad. I’m kinda looking at them now, like a race horse that can’t run forever, so I start talking to them about some business ideas that I have and where I think they would be a great fit. I believe it would be a life-changing opportunity for them.
I’ve been fortunate enough to provide some of these opportunities like when I owned a direct mail magazine. We had it in twenty-three cities so it was so great to see how this business idea changed people’s lives. I gave a life-changing opportunity to advance people. Then, I encouraged them to repeat the process I just did with them.
So let me take you through this again; how I believe that giving people self-confidence is one of the most important things that you can do. When you give somebody self-confidence, they will act on it as they feel more confident to succeed at something. They’re just going to do it better and they become more valuable to you!
Alright, so let me take you through the process and how you help people gain more self-confidence.
- See potential that this person has yet to see in themselves.
- Put them in positions that stretch them.
- Provide learning opportunities to improve them.
- Expect and demand more of them.
- Provide life-changing opportunities to advance them.
When you do those five things with your staff, you want to encourage them to rinse and repeat with their staff. They need to be doing the same thing. If you create this kind of culture of growing and advancing people, you will build self-confidence in them.