Some of the best leadership advice I ever got came from Pope John XXIII. He said, See everything; overlook a lot; correct a little.”
Most leaders do fairly well on the first two. It’s the third area where I see too many leaders demotivate their people. They correct too many faults at the same time.
By contrast, look at how a golf pro teaches. When a person comes to him for lessons, he may have four or five basic flaws in his swing. All of these flaws will eventually need to be corrected if he expects to hit the ball well.
However, if the golf pro told his student about all of his flaws at once, the student would probably feel overwhelmed and hopeless. Instead, the pro points out one or two of the most glaring errors. As the student corrects those and begins to hit the ball better, he’s encouraged to keep on learning more to get better and better. Then the pro gives him something else to work on.
The same is true in business. When you want people to learn new skills, it works best to work on one thing at a time.” Then you watch for every opportunity to praise their progress.
As the old saying goes, “Nothing succeeds like success.” Success is a great motivator. When employees master one step, and are praised for doing so, it spurs them on to the next skill they need to master.