Below are some things I’ve learned as I’ve guided some really brilliant folks into their careers. I am very proud of the younger(and older) folks that have gone on to do great things in their careers after building a foundation with me. I call the process organic leadership and our new model of relationship marketing based upon Social Media is a perfect fit for this process.
Let Your People Learn
People learn best by doing. If you detail everything out for them no matter how mundane the task then they will never learn for themselves and the behavior won’t become ingrained. Let people learn by failing or succeeding whatever may happen and then follow-up with your tips and ideas. That doesn’t mean you don’t give them guidance. I teach by assigning a project with clear cut goals and then letting them loose on a couple of guiding pieces of information. Sometimes they will scream a little when at first they get frustrated. That is your sign to give them a few more pointers. I’ve learned over time not to be too vague though or you will frustrate them too much.
The real bonus to this learning process is that often times people come up with even better ways to do things than you previously considered, so be open to what they create from this process.
Be their friend or at the least, be sympathetic, warm, and open to them and their professional and personal frustrations, aspirations, and thoughts. Open up communication with people to build trust and compassion. Let them know your weaknesses and thoughts. You’ll be amazed how quickly people bond with you and help you before you ask for it when you reveal yourself to them.
Listen to what they learn. You don’t know it all and you never will.
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