Stop Expecting People to be Perfect

Donald Miller WP

I have written many times that leadership is a people business. It’s about motivating and challenging people to accomplish big things. If you don’t like people, you shouldn’t be a leader. The truth is, people are messy. They have fears, anxieties, quirks, annoying habits, hangups, issues, and problems. Each member of your team is probably struggling with something at home or at work that is affecting them in some way. Leading people is not simple and can be frustrating at times. But that’s OK.

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.” Donald Miller

Reading Donald Miller’s book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, made me think about this leadership issue again. People are amazing and they can truly surprise you with what they can do, but, if you expect them to be perfect every day, you are going to be discouraged. So, as Miller suggests, stop expecting perfection from your employees and enjoy who they are and what they bring to your team. Embrace the mess and keep motivating them towards great things.

What do you think? Why do we seem to focus on the negatives? How can we look past the quirks and annoying habits to see the best in people? If we simply accept people as they are, how much more could they contribute to the team? Let me know in the comment section below.

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One Kind Word

One kind word can change someone's

Today, one of my colleagues gave me the ultimate compliment.  In front of my boss and several other senior leaders, he told me something very meaningful.  He said, “You are making a difference.”  As leaders, most of us spend every day trying to make our teams and our organizations better and many days it’s hard to tell if we are making progress.  So when someone takes the time to acknowledge your efforts are working, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

It reminds me that, as leaders, we can’t forget to let people know when their hard work is yielding positive results.  Our compliment may be the only positive feedback they have heard in weeks.  We should never forget that a kind word can really make a difference in someone’s outlook.

So, look around you.  Who is making a difference on your team?  Let them know today!