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If you’re a leader, you can’t just make your staff do what you want them to do.

You can’t force them to be successful.

You can’t rant and rave your way to better outcomes.

Constant manipulation and coercion will get you nowhere.

You have to lead them.

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In the week leading up to the 2019 AFL Grand Final, Richmond captain Trent Cotchin said,

“For me, it’s not about holding the cup up for a second time and so forth, it’s about creating a culture that will live beyond my time at the footy club and the other players who have been such a big part of that.”

He gets it.

He understands leadership.

It’s about creating a legacy.

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If you’re a leader, don’t fixate on results and numbers.

Find a way to win the hearts and minds of your staff.

Show that you genuinely care about them (and their families and their cats).

Put the spotlight on their successes and celebrate their wins.

Be passionate about their careers and personal development.

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Most organisations have a set of values or mission statement.

They are created with much consultation and launched with great fanfare.

They are painted on the entrance to the office in large, bold letters.

And far too often, that’s virtually the last we hear of them.

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Whether you’re a parent, a leader, a teacher or anyone else in a position of influence, it’s time to catch the people around you doing something right.

It’s easy to catch them doing something wrong.

To focus on the negatives.

To highlight the weaknesses.

But is that really the best way to positively impact and motivate others?

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There’s a yearning within most of us to fit in.

To look like the people around us.

To talk like they talk and do what they do.

To find safety in the herd.

To avoid the embarrassment of mistakes.

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“It’s hard to beat moments like this, and it’s hard to beat teams that act like this.”

Last night, Reece Conca played his 100th game for the Richmond Football Club.  He’s a popular club-man, best known within the club for his “Conca cuddle” celebrations with team-mates after they have kicked a goal.

It’s been a long journey to get to 100 as he has had terrible luck with injury throughout his career.

And then, 15 minutes into his milestone game, he suffered a dislocated ankle that left him writhing in agony.

As a fan, it was hard to watch such a fine young man suffer such pain and heartbreak, but what happened next was both inspiring and heart warming.

After he was loaded onto the stretcher to be taken from the ground and off to hospital, every single team-mate who was on the ground came up to support and acknowledge their fallen soldier.

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Professional athletes train incessantly to get better.

World-class musicians are always practicing, practicing, practicing.

Soldiers are consistently doing drills or carefully simulated combat missions to further develop their skills.

Why?

To get better.

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Who’s the leader?

The person with the fancy title?

The person with the prestigious corner office?

The person with the highest salary?

The person who has been there the longest?

Or is it the person who has the biggest positive influence?

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I hope that your kids do greater things than you ever did.

I hope that the person you coach and mentor goes on to achieve far more than you have.

I hope that your hand-picked successor at work delivers far better results.

I hope that you forge the way for others to follow.

And I hope that they each look back with gratitude, knowing that they couldn’t have done it without your support and guidance.

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