The Street Smart Law Blog

Writing 2
  • Frederick L Shelton

1 Key Tells Whether You're a Leader or Just Another Manager

My "Magic Millennials" are sharp, goal-oriented and very self-disciplined.

Like most people in the nascent phase of their career, they assume they should ask for guidance from the boss.

This is fine but I'm not a manager. I'm a leader.

So before they come to me with any question, they are required to do something very important: Think.

They must examine the facts, circumstances etc. and then make an analysis and recommendation.

So instead of saying

"Hey boss, what should I do about ____?"

They come to me and say

"Here is what I know. Based on what you've trained us about this, here's what I think we should do."

When they get it wrong, I praise them for their effort and gently explain why another strategy would be more effective.

When they get it right, I praise them for their self-direction, thought process and growth.

Notice what I do in both cases?

If your boss was going to make the mistake of praising too little or praising a bit too much, which would you prefer? Additionally, praise when they get it wrong, eliminates the fear of being wrong in the future and encourages them to innovate. Some of the best business ideas I've received were from people who were relatively new to our firm and business.

Make them think before they come to you with a question. Praise them when they try and praise them when they get it right.

Create a team of independent and innovative thinkers.

Control-freaks and egomaniacs require employees to ask for direction on everything, and constantly seek approval from the manager.

Leaders empower their employees, encourage growth and independent thinking. They give their people confidence and the chance to shine.

Let your people shine and they will make you a star.