founder of naked leader

Give people a standard to live up to…not down to

Time to Read: As fast as you, personally, read it, and that’s ok

Time to Listen: However long it takes to listen, and again, that’s ok

Give people a standard to live up to…not down to

Three real examples:


1.            Teenagers

A few weeks ago my nephew was playing in a football cup final. Parents of both clubs crowded the lines, supporting their respective boys and teams. Unfortunately much of what they shouted did not work – “Come on, for goodness sake! You need to talk to each other!”; “You’re letting them get to you – get your heads up”; and “stop giving the ball away.” So a small group of us started shouting a subtly different and more positive message – “Well done boys, keep talking” and “Keep your heads up boys, you can win this” and every time they tackled well, or passed it well,  or shot etc. we acknowledged it.

And “we” won – 5-3 on penalties!

Action – Catch people doing things right, and they will keep doing those things.


2.            At Home, and Work

It’s not what you say, it’s what you do. If all you did, as a mother, a husband and a leader, was always keep your word, and take action, others will always know where they stand with you.

Last weekend in a supermarket – small boy helps himself to a bag of sweets. Mummy said “you can’t have that”. Boy goes to daddy who says “put it back.” Child starts crying so they say “Oh, ok then.” You must follow through on what you say, always.

I haven’t quite mastered this with my cats – “No, I am not feeding you, it’s not your tea time yet” I say as I follow them to their bowls. “Ok, I say” as I give them a “snack” – “this is the last time.” I can almost tell what they are thinking “Yeh, right David.”

Action – Keep your word, always, and you will be a trusted role model, except with cats.


3.            In a presentation

A company we were partnering introduced a new idea – The Big Picture – in their organisation, with the first stage being a 30 minute introduction.

To the first group the presenter said:

“Now, this is a very complex idea, and we only have 30 minutes. There is no way you will learn much about The Big Picture in that time.”

Outcome – Few remembered much

Then, to the second group, the same guy used one of the most powerful persuasion techniques in the world – the placebo effect.

This time he said:

“Now, this is a really simple idea, and you will be able to pick it up in the 30 minutes we have today”

Outcome – Most remembered a lot

Action – Use the placebo effect, its effect is astonishing


4.           Now Do It!  And trust your own experience, and please share your outcomes with others.


With my love and best wishes

David X

10 Responses to Give people a standard to live up to…not down to

  1. It’s a great message, the positive one to kids, especially on the touchline at football.
    I can’t abide dads, managers, so-called coaches, shouting at boys under 10, ordering them here and there and not saying well done.
    Those parents were obviously FANTASTIC players when they were that age, oh yes, they couldn’t have been better!
    Or is it that they now try to re-live their failed time as a player through their sons, daughters?
    A manager of an under eight team i knew was whooping about because ‘he’ had won a cup. Good for the CV you see.
    Never mind the kids, he was the winner.
    In reality, ask a kid of that age to play football and he wants to go out there and just enjoy it.
    The coach might just as well go and sit in his car if all he is going to do is shout at his team.
    They might be listening but they don’t hear.

    • Agreed Robert – enjoy playing, and winning is a bonus. I also find it interesting in adult football the way fans turn on their teams when they are losing – just when they really need support the most. David

  2. Totally agree with that sentiment.
    We are all too guilty of doing children down when actually, we should be giving more praise and bigging them up.
    Don’t say no to them so much either, say ‘maybe’.

  3. Telling someone they are doing something well, gives them that extra confidence boost that’s ensures that they do.

  4. Absolutely agree, Jackie.
    We all need a pat on the back at times.
    When we get one we feel great.
    And it gives us the momentum and impetus to go on.

  5. Getting the opposite of a pat on the back can have a detrimental effect.
    It can lead to disengaged staff and people who feel a little less worthwhile in what they are doing.
    It doesn’t take a lot to say ‘well done’ or ‘that went well’ as this can make a huge difference to morale.

  6. Catching someone when they are doing something well and telling them is something I always like to do. As you do then see them doing it well more often!

  7. Interesting on the Apprentice this week, when it was mentioned that one of the teams was very good at talking but not so good at getting on and doing!

  8. The one about the Big Picture resonates.
    Some owners try to make things too complex when actually, business can be stripped down and made easy.
    There is such a lot of rubbish motos in business like ‘moving forward’ ‘thinking outside the…blah blah’ when in reality it is the doing and not that talking that is the essential ingredient.

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