Early in my leadership career my introverted personality and my goal-oriented nature combined to make appearances outside of my office for anything other than meetings a rare event.

When I assumed responsibility for a training organization that began to change. Its leader would remind me over and over, “It’s about the people.” I soon learned that being an introvert and caring about goals did not mean that I could not make valuing people an even higher priority.

Before long I was regularly spending a day at one of the training organizations three remote locations. I would plop my laptop down in a cubicle and I would have lunch with all of the people in the group. These experiences helped me to get to know the trainers better and just as importantly, they got to know me better.

Creating more familiarity and better relationships not only helped me to lead the training organization better, it made me a better leader period.

What follows are some of the people principles I have developed that help me to influence people to good outcomes and to motivate them to give their best.

  • Involve The People
    • In one of my HR roles an internal client once told me “Do HR for me don’t do HR to me”. Getting people involved in that which impacts them helps to earn their genuine support.

  • Celebrate The People
    • We all want to be where we are celebrated not where we are tolerated. Recognizing people for excellence only produces more excellence.

  • Be Among The People
    • People follow only leaders they trust, they trust only leaders they know; and trust comes out of relationship.

  • Create Work/Life Balance for The People . . . Even at Work
    • We work to live, we don’t live to work. It’s okay to be intentional about having fun at work. Float Fridays anyone?

  • Empower The People to Do Good
    • This is not a typo, I didn’t leave out a word, as in “empower the people to do good work”. This principle is about empowering people to do good. Set an expectation (and reinforce it by visibly rewarding the appropriate behaviors) that people on your team will treat one another with integrity and respect.

What are your people principles? If you’re willing to share your thoughts, send me a note via the contact form. I will send you an excerpt from my book, Transforming: The Power of Leading from Identity, as a thank you.