The Art of Killing Kudzu Leadership by Encouragement 

by | Leadership

A Treasury of Keepers

1. Communicate Encouragement. 

The kudzu that grows wild and chokes out good stuff can be killed through Management by Encouragement.

2. Catch Them Doing Right. 

Do not focus on catching them doing wrong. Once you catch, be sure and translate your feelings.

3. Be Real. Form minus force equals farce. 

There is no replacement for authenticity.  You are transparent. They can tell whether or not you are real.

4. Redefine Enthusiasm.

Be as excited and as specific when you affirm as when you confront. Insecure team members will rate the levels of your intensity and specificity. Affirm as well as you confront.

5. Be Fair.

A favorite equals a leak equals a problem. Try not to “play favorites.”

6. Remember Why People Grow. 

Look hard to find something good.  Make a big deal out of a big deal.  Sometimes, make a big deal out of a little deal. 

7. Be Tolerant. 

We all travel by detour.  “Detourless-ness” equals an illusion.  No one is normal.

8. Pay attention. 

Attention equals retention.  Remember they quit before they quit.  Often, a precipitator of their quitting is what they perceive as indifference.

9. Celebrate the “We”.

One equals a lonely number. By definition, leadership involves more than one.

10. Remember How Insecure They Are. 

They will hold you responsible for their feelings.  Their frustration may have more to do with them than it does you.

11. “Service” is a verb

Service their journey.  Catch them with pleasant surprises.  Avoid the temptation to treat volunteers as employees.

12. Honor Pace-Variance. 

We do not have the same starting points.  We do not run, learn, or perform at the same pace.

13. Monitor Your Intimidation-Level.

It is not unusual for leaders to come over more strongly than they intend. Leaders must factor into their leadership-equation their capacity to intimidate.

14. Learn to dispense some slack.

Our quick judgmental responses often produce more harm than help.

15. Care enough to confront.

The communication of encouragement may include a “caring enough to confront.” Attempt to confront by “doing it like a donut.” Surround confrontation with affirmation, when appropriate.

Stephen is the best-selling author of 26 books, including What Do They See When They See You Coming? He has also written countless articles for a variety of publications and has produced multiple audio books and video programs. Stephen has appeared on PBS Television and XM Sirius Satellite Radio. He continues to hold one of the highest invite-back ratios in the speaking profession.