I keep coming back to these 4 words in my leadership journey. They are simple and clear. And powerful. I guarantee that my best work relationships have those 4 words resonate with both parties. I also think it’s true in other leadership capacities. I’ve seen recently a son of mine perform at a much higher level in basketball this spring with a new coach. I asked him why and he said, “coach believes in me.”
Conversely, my poorest relationships didn’t have those 4 words going both ways. A lot of it was me. I tend to have high expectations for myself and for others. I found myself disappointed one day and a friend told me, “Omar, there you go again, you and your high expectations. If you would just lower them you’d be a lot happier.”
Truth is, I can’t. For me, having high expectations of myself and others can work, and when it does, we all believe in each other. Then we have that solid foundation to do extraordinary things. Getting to that place, however, requires some hard work and sweat equity. No one said it would be easy. If you are willing to take it, head on, you will see a huge upside. You might have some hard conversations, or not see “eye to eye” on some things. But who said we’re always supposed to see “eye to eye” on everything?
But I also found that I was not saying those 4 words enough when I truly felt them. I was missing opportunities to engage and inspire people just because I was focused on other things. I’ve learned to pause more and recognize when that feeling is really there. Taking that time has resulted in some great work. My advice to you: Say those 4 simple words to the people working hard every day around you. It means a lot.