How to be a better leader in 20 minutes

It’s not common when you come across a blog post that makes you want to take action immediately…I found one today!

Do you know what your employees values are and what motivates them?

A very important question that very often leaders have a hard time answering. Knowing what people value and what their motivations are is a lever a leader can push to bring out the best in others.

Frode Heimen suggests a 20 minute exercise to .

  • Ask an employee to write down the names of four people who have had a huge positive impact on his life — peoples he respects, admires, or looks up to. The people can be famous, familiar,real or fictional, dead or alive.
  • Ask your employee about each name, one at a time. Ask open questions to get them to tell you as much as possible. Who is this person? Why is he or she important to you? What qualities does this person hold? Once you figure out why your employee has named this person, write down the key values revealed.
  • When you’re done with the exercise, notice the 3 most common values and you will have the core values of the other person as we tend to be drawn to people whose qualities mirror our own.

How to put the results to use

Frode suggests:

She got legs and she knows how to use them” – A line from an old ZZ Top song, focus on the strengths. This is the key. If safety and family values are strong, the person might need to know that the job is safe, and this is something you should emphasize during talks. If ambitions and winner instincts are strong, they will love to get feedback on how to improve, and when they do great it is important to show that you notice it. It would be a great boost for them to know that they are close to achieving their goals or to beat competition. Others might need a predictable day at the office; others should focus on the well being of others all this will be known out of this piece of paper.

This is an invaluable exercise!