Bring Out the Best: Maintain Excellence in Uncertain Times

Over the last few weeks I have deviated from my usual blog content to encourage you to focus on yourself. I hope the holiday break allowed you to push pause and focus on what is most important to you. To take in what you are grateful for and to give some thought to what you would like 2017 to look like for you.

I was blessed over the last few weeks to be with good friends, my granddaughter, family and a group of heart-centered leaders. Each provided experiences and perspectives on what matters most to me. Reflecting on those experiences informs my 2017 planning.

In this last of five blog posts about Bringing Out the Best in others, I am reminded of an old saying about leadership:

“It is not about you and it is all about you!”

You cannot lead or do for others if you have not taken care of yourself first.

bring out the best, excellence, 5 steps, Select, Connect, Play, Grapple, Grow, Shine, peak performance, individual, connection, sleep, exercise, emotional support, alone time, Strengths, Strengths Based Leadership, StrengthsFinder, leadership coach

It’s not about you and it’s all about you. Click To Tweet

How can busy leaders and managers bring out the best in people? Nothing is as difficult as leading and managing people in uncertain times. With the rapidly changing competitive environment and new technologies, it’s hard to keep up.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, in his book, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People suggests these five steps to help people to achieve peak performance.

1. Select
Put the right people in the right job, and give them responsibilities that “light up” their brains. You can see the sparkle in their eyes when their responsibilities align with their Strengths.

2. Connect
Strengths-based teams have stronger interpersonal bonds and are more likely to be a part of a high-performance team.

3. Play
Provide opportunity for collaboration that unleash their imaginations at work.

4. Grapple and Grow
When the pressure is on, provide the environment or resources that enable your people to achieve mastery of their work.

5. Shine
The best execution of the Strengths of your individual team members promotes loyalty and energizes your people’s desire to excel.

Leading and managing people well is even more challenging when you are constantly putting out fires. You can’t sacrifice performance in the name of speed, cost cutting, efficiency, and what can be misinterpreted as necessity. When you ignore the individual and the connections, deep thought disappears in favor of decisions based on fear.

These five areas of focus can help you avoid fear-based leading and management practices. Use these five steps to identify problem areas and create a plan of action. In this way, you creatively manage for change and growth, not just survival.

Lastly, in order for you to achieve peak performance, you need to be in top shape, physically and mentally. Psychologist Sherrie Campbell, in an article on Entrepreneur Magazine, lists five habits worth cultivating that leaders and managers can suggest in helping people achieve peak performance:

1. Get enough sleep
Sleep deprivation can leave you feeling scatterbrained, foggy and unfocused. Good sleep improves our ability to be patient, retain information, think clearly, make good decisions and be present and alert in all of our daily interactions.

2. Get daily exercise
Exercise is the best way to reduce the stress that impairs performance stamina. Exercise increases your “happy” mood chemicals through the release of endorphins, which help rid your mind and body of tension.

3. Connect for emotional support
Having healthy, loving relationships increases your happiness, success and longevity by promoting the capacity to function in life as your best self.

4. Be unapologetically optimistic
Look for the best in every situation. Optimism is the commitment to believe, expect and trust that things in life are arranged in your favor. Even when something bad happens, find the silver lining.

5. Create alone time
Time spent alone for reflection refuels your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. This is time to recharge, focus on values and purpose, and cultivate self-love and respect.

“Put simply, the best leaders and managers bring out the best from their people. This is true of football coaches, orchestra conductors, big-company executives, and small-business owners. They are like alchemists who turn lead into gold. Put more accurately, they find and mine the gold that resides in everyone.”

Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, Shine: Using Brain Science to Get the Best from Your People (Harvard Business Press, 2011)

What of these ideas are you already doing? What of these ideas do you need to work into your new habits for 2017 to be the best you can be so you can help others to be the best they can be? As always, I look forward to hearing from you. You can reach me here or on LinkedIn.

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