The Ten Keys to Maximizing
Dr. Tom Olson
1. Let people know what you
expect. If people know what’s expected of them, that’s what
they’ll do--if they don’t know what’s expected, they’ll do
something else. Communicate clear and unambiguous performance
expectations and hold people accountable for their achievement.
2. Be a systems thinker. Remind
people of their interconnectedness and that something happening in
one area affects all other areas. If people know how what they do
impacts on others, they’ll try harder to do it well.
3. Keep people informed. Don’t
assume that others can read your mind. If there’s something
going on, let them in on it. Without information people invent it
and the human tendency is to think the worst. A well-timed word
can prevent a lot of worry.
4. Let people “own” their
jobs. Remember your first car and how you felt about owning it and
how hard you worked to keep it clean and in good running order?
Well the same hold true for people’s jobs. If people feel
ownership of their job, the harder they will try to take care of
it and do it well.
5. Establish a feedback culture.
Things go wrong probably no more than five or ten percent of the
time yet we spend ninety percent of our time belabouring those few
things. We probably only spend ten percent of our energy talking
about the ninety percent of things that are done well. Spending
more time providing feedback about the positive outcomes makes it
easier to talk to people about those that are negative. Passing on
a good word about someone or providing deserved praise or
recognition doesn’t diminish you in any way. It doesn’t take
any light from your candle to light someone else’s. Feedback
truly is the breakfast of champions and people who feel like
champions act like champions.
6. Share your power. Invariably
when I ask people in my training sessions who has power in the
room they point to me. To an extent that’s true. I do have power
but only if the group gives it to me. When we’re given power,
there is an expectation that we will use it responsibly. People
who use power responsibly shun manipulation and intimidation and
focus on what they can give to others rather than on what they can
get. They share their power, giving others the opportunity to
influence events and situations. And, like the biblical direction
about “casting your bread upon the waters,” the return is a
thousand fold. Those with whom the power is shared give it back in
greater measure and the mutual ability to influence is enhanced.
Simply put, power shared is power gained.
7. The coach, not the players get
fired. When a sports team performs poorly, the coach is fired, not
the players. And the players, not the general manager, fire the
coach. How does all of this work? Quite simply, the coach fails to
provide the conditions that motivate players to maximize their
performance and, as a result, they play just hard enough to keep
their jobs. “Spoiled athletes,” you might say. “The money
they make should be enough to motivate them!” Which leads to
8. Money only keeps them coming
back. Take it away and they won’t come at all but more of it
will do nothing to make them work or play harder.
9. Treat your people like
volunteers. Have you ever noticed how hard volunteers’ work, how
dedicated most of them are, how much time they give to their
volunteer organizations? Why is that? Well mostly because others
recognize and appreciate their skills. Often volunteers are given
important jobs that carry large responsibility. Recognition and
opportunity are what drive volunteers. Treat the people who work
with you like volunteers and the results will amaze you.
10. And finally, remember that
happens while you’re there doesn’t matter--it’s what happens
when you’re not there that counts.
About The Author
Tom Olson is the author of Don’t Die With Your helmet On. Visit www.Dontdiewithyourhelmeton.com
for more information about Dr. Tom, the book and his work.