“The way we see people is often the difference between manipulating and motivating them.” p.122
This sentence is used within the context of adding value to people. As a leader of employees, this one is very important and hopefully one of our biggest ‘ah-ha’ moments in the book. Do we feel that each person is valuable and truly important on the dairy, from the milkers to the calf feeder? Is it really impossible to make someone else feel important if secretly we feel that they are inferior, unworthy or replaceable? Valuing people starts with knowing that each individual is important. Building on that truth and helping others become more valuable will create success for both you and the business in which you work.
It’s normal to feel hesitant about investing in people for fear that they will better themselves at your dairy only to quit and go elsewhere. Perhaps adding value to people means an expectation of a raise. I would encourage you to talk to other LIFT attendees next week and ask…”How do you add value to those you lead?”.
One day I was touring a dairy with the feed manager and parlor manager of a client of mine. The man giving us the tour was the general manager of the dairy. As we walked through the operation, he stopped to talk with the people working. We heard questions like “Did the change in protocol seem to help with milk let-down?” and “What did you learn at the seminar last week?”. But we heard even more questions along the lines of “Are you and your wife ready for that new baby?” and “Did your daughter’s team win that softball game? – Awesome!”.
That day I learned more about the leadership of this manager than I did about anything else on the dairy. It appeared effortless, but I know that he invested time and energy in remembering people’s story. He made it important to him, and that made each person all the more important to the dairy.
He is a master at remembering a person’s story and would likely tell you the same three steps as Maxwell in pages 129-130
Chapter 22 is entitled “Learn Your Mailman’s Name”. For me, this chapter brought back memories from the very first seminar that I ever attended (the subject of the meeting ironically was about being a ‘teen leader’). It’s hard to believe, but it was 23 years ago when I was in high school. When we sent in our registration for the meeting, we were asked to send our school picture along. I assumed that it was for a directory of some kind but was shocked when, upon arrival, the director of the meeting knew each one of us by name. He had never met us and there were over 400 high school students at the seminar. It was so impressive that I remember the day well over two decades later. The frustrating part is that I don’t remember his name – ugh. I guess that’s why I’m still attending the meetings and not teaching them 🙂
Today, I like to take this advice a step further: Learn your mailman’s name, and respect it. I try hard to teach my children that a person’s name is their most important possession. Last night our family was watching the Badger basketball team play in the NCAA tourney and a commercial came on with Kyle Butts, a Virginia Tech swimmer…teachable moment. Remember a person’s name, and respect it.