In a famous quote by educator Haim G. Ginott, we learn one of the basic truths of inspiring others. This incredible teacher stated, “If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” This means that in order to raise the bar and cultivate excellence in our workplaces, we have to treat people as if they had already attained excellence. Those of us who are built to lead must inspire those who work for us to be better than they are.
How can we possibly inspire employees to be better than they are? Haim G. Ginott has another insight: “I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized.” While Ginott was referring to the teacher’s role in the classroom, it is clear that this same theory can be applied to business owners. You, and you alone, are the deciding factor in your business climate.
When you create a climate of trust and caring, your employees are more willing to take chances. They are better able to spread their wings and use their talents to give you great service and to grow your business to incredible heights.
However, if you create a climate of distrust by being disloyal to your employees or holding them to impossible standards, you will find that they will eventually fulfill your prophecy. When you expect them to fail, they will fail. When you expect them to dislike and distrust you, you will set up the circumstances to create this reality.
Instead of anticipating the worst, treat your employees as if you expect nothing less than their best. Raise the bar for everyone by holding both yourself and your employees to high standards of excellence and show them that you are “Built To Lead”!