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15 minutes can save you more than 15% on your car insurance.

Fifteen minutes can mean the difference in saving your top salesperson, recruiter or employee.

As a leader (manager) one of the greatest things you can learn is to effectively use 15 minutes of your time. It is one of the things that separates the weak leader from the strong leader. When weaker leaders find fifteen minutes, they focus on themselves. The great leaders use the fifteen minutes to focus on others.

How much is fifteen minutes? It is approximately 1% of your day. Here’s what great leaders understand about those fifteen minutes and how they optimize that time:

Great leaders understand three basic fundamentals about people:

1. The vast majority of people come to work and want to do a good job

2. Recognized behavior gets repeated

3. Most people work more for the psychological paycheck than for the paycheck

1. The vast majority of people want to do a good job

Unfortunately, part of doing that good job includes having the proper training, systems, tools and coaching to do the job they were hired for. Great leaders use their 15 minutes to assess the support infrastructure to ensure their people have what they need to be successful. They lead by walking around asking questions like:

1. How are the systems treating you?

2. Do you have what you need to be successful today?

3. Is there anything I can help you with?

2. Recognized behavior gets repeated

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Unrecognized behavior goes away. On-the-spot coaching is a must to recognize behavior and raise the standards of performance in any organization. By catching people doing things right and recognizing them for it, you can benefit from vicarious reinforcement—whereby other people in the organization aspire to receiving the same type of praise. They will increase their effort to accomplish this. Great leaders understand that you praise in public and constructively criticize in private.

3. Most people work more for the psychological paycheck

I have heard more times than I care to mention, managers say things like, “That is what I pay them to do. Why should I give them kudos for doing their job?” A good wide receiver in football gets paid to catch the ball. Sometimes millions of dollars to do so. Yet, when they make a catch and go out of bounds during a game, their teammates cheer and pat them on the helmet and back for a job well done! That is the psychological paycheck! Most people work more for that than the actual paycheck.

A great leader understands 15 minutes can make a huge difference in people’s lives and the power of their words.

• Five most important words: I’m really proud of you!

• Four most important words: What do you think?

• Three most important words: You were great!

• Two most important words: Thank you!

• The most important word: YOU

One statement that I have found to be irrefutable in my 37 years in business is this:

A company is only as good as it is represented by its people

Great leaders take that 15 minutes to invest in their people.

Great leaders understand their people are their company’s brand and most important asset. They take the time to carefully invest in their development through training, new opportunities to learn and always trying to recognize the desired behavior so that it will be repeated.

At Butler Street, we understand that there is no such thing as a sustainable competitive advantage in terms of a product or service. Products and services can be quickly copied by your competitors. Our only sustainable advantage is our people, and their ability to learn faster and change faster than the competition. To learn more about how we can help you turn managers into leaders through our Leadership Effectiveness training, Contact us and we would be happy to reach out to you.

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