According to Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, in their book, First, Break All the Rules, the best managers on the planet do not expect that people will change all that much. They subscribe to the “what you see is what you get” mantra. They intentionally get to know each person on their team and their individual talents and figure out how to leverage that talent to realize the goals of the whole team.
In John Maxwell’s Winning with People, he discusses the elevator principle. He describes that each of us has the ability to lift people up or take them down – just like an elevator!
And yet again, in The 24 Carrot Manager, Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton unpack this idea that great teams are a product, at least in part, of an environment where there is intentional praise and appreciation for team and individual contribution to successes. People need to be recognized for their efforts!
I could provide example after example from leadership booksyou and I have read and experiences you and I have lived out. Our teams are in dire need of leaders who will make a difference…servant leaders who will change a culture in their organizations.
I don’t believe we have to keep searching for the a missing key or the next 6 principles that successful people use to make a difference. I believe it’s already in us. We have been given a sense of truth north in our spirit. It is simply a matter of committing to consistent intentional people development as the means to accomplishing the goals and directives our teams are to accomplish.
That’s why I have developed this simple tool. We need reminders as leaders! Take the quarter, dime, nickel, and penny and place them in your pocket. Aim to genuinely express appreciation to individuals. Aim to appreciate their individual expression. Each time you do, simply transfer a coin to the other pocket. Make it your goal each day to transfer all four coins. As I have utilized this technique over the past 6 months, I can genuinely tell you that it has helped me take the time needed to connect with my team in my leadership role! I believe it will help you as well!
So … who’s with me out there? Who acknowledges that praise and encouragement is lacking a little in their leadership toolbox? Simply reply back to this post. I would love to hear some stories of how this simple tool is helping you!
You’ve got the 4 coins in your pocket – the quarter, dime, nickel, and penny. They are there to remind you to genuinely appreciate your people daily! They are always reminding you of the tremendous diversity you have in the people around you! Today consider this …
Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, in their book First Break All the Rules, describe a talent as any recurring pattern that can be used for good. I absolutely love the definition. It opens up a world of consideration when looking at ourselves and our teams. We are talented people. We are wired in certain ways that can produce incredibly positive outcomes!
So, if this idea is a principle to lead by, then we can make the following analogy. Pull those coins out of your pocket… Each of these coins has value … different levels of purchasing power but all have value. On our teams people will have differing impact for the organization but no one is invaluable. To the entire 41 cents, the quarter contributes 61%, the dime 24.5%, the nickel 12%, and the penny 2.5%. Each have differing impact in the outcome.
Let’s look at your team. Likely there is someone or a group of someones who make an impact similar to that quarter. Without them, the team would greatly suffer. And you likely have people similar to the dime and nickel – key players making solid impact but could be removed and the team would adjust without serious detriment. And, if you’re like the rest of us, you have some people that are contributing at the penny level – not moving the needle much at all. (Make sure you read my post published Oct. 2, 2013 regarding the people producing at the penny level because we just might be the reason why they are performing at that level!)
You do know your team, however. You do know their talents and their not-so-talents. You have placed them in their best fit so they can do what they do best!
Now, let’s say it comes to reviews in your fiscal year and both the “quarter” associate and the “dime” associate are under-performing by 50%. The quarter associate’s lack of performance is costing you nearly 1/3 of your business productivity because remember they contribute 61% to the overall business at optimal performance. And how about that dime associate? Yes, they are important and they are costing you nearly 1/8 of your business productivity. But which is the bigger threat? You know you are going to need to commit some energy to investing in these two associates. You know you only have so much energy and time! Where are you going to leverage that energy most? One choice will likely improve your team by approximately 30% and the other by approximately 12%.
Too many times are perspective gets skewed by personality, perceptions that are not necessarily accurate, and even our own biases! Be objective and make the best decisions to bring the strongest RETURN ON ENERGY INVESTED!
Do you believe people’s contributions to the overall productivity vary?
Do you find yourself leveraging energies toward areas that will not yield much return on energy invested?
What skills have you developed to become more effective in leveraging your energy and time in areas most needed?
The power of 4 coins is quite simple. Take a quarter, dime, nickel, and penny and place them in your pocket each day. I use those coins for two things. Firstly, every time I genuinely express appreciation to one of my employees, I move a coin from one pocket to the other. My goal is to transfer all coins to the other pocket each day. (I know that Zig Ziglar shared the use of coins and expressing appreciation to your employees – so this idea is not original with me.) However, the second way I use those coins is something original. I use each of those coins, totaling 41 cents, to remind me daily that we are one team made up of very different individuals! Take a look at those coins – they each had a different history before crossing your path. They each have different markings. They each have differing sizes and weights, and costs to manufacture. All of those are differing characteristics that I see in my team. If I do not lead them as a team of individuals my success and theirs will be very limited. So, I encourage you – become a 41 Cent Leader. Over the next days together, we will unpack some of the understanding that can be gained by this powerful analogy.