By Jim Milstead
Retired John Deere Executive and Humble Leader
There are three things I try to do to help others move forward.
My slant here will be more towards the development of people and that requires a fall back to my experience in the secular world. I found over time that there are these three foundation principles—care, concern, and connection. To truly have any chance to develop others there must be a connection and that requires caring for and about the other person as well as a concern for them and about the process. Then it boils down to time and commitment.
Essentially, the care, concern, and connection are all embodied in relationship. I firmly believe that when God created this world He intended for relationship to be the driver of all that happens. The stronger the relationship, the easier it is to deal with the difficulties in life that continually surface. Relationship is built on mutual respect and on trust, and I learned that it’s critical to never take either for granted and to guard both as sincerely as my frail human nature allowed. My experience, more times than not, showed me that caring and having concern for an individual paved the way to respect and trust.
Once the connection was moving along, there was another concept I used to develop/move others hopefully in the right direction. The management style I called CCPC: coach, correct, protect and cheer. In order for anyone to understand what’s expected coaching is needed—what’s the culture and traditions, what’s the time parameters, and what are necessary outcomes/results. Assuming the individual responds correctly and moves forward all is good, but if and when there is a deviation or deficiency, then correction is required—this must be done as soon as the deficiency is detected. The coaching and correcting are an ongoing process and as the individual gains confidence, there is more coaching than correcting. Mistakes can and will be made, however, but provided that the same ones are not repeated over and over, acceptance and understanding helped me mature and season the person. Done correctly this also instills a sense of value in the individual and drives the strengthening of relationship.
Unfortunately I learned that there could be threats to individuals under my watch—generally, those came from others higher in rank but could also come from peer groups as well. As a result, it was essential to protect individuals as best I could to prevent damage to their self-worth and to strengthen the trust level between us.
Finally, it’s critical to cheer for others—let them know they are valued and doing a good job. Positive reinforcement tends to lead to a more satisfied person who will function as expected and directed.
One last time—it’s all about relationship—the stronger it is, the higher the level of respect and the deeper the level of trust. The process served me well for many, many years.
What can you do today to strengthen your relationships?