Byron's Babbles

We Should Not Need Trumpet Lessons

We were taught to catch ourselves doing things right in Simple Truths of Leadership: 52 Ways To Be A Servant Leader and Build Trust, Making Common Sense Common Practiceby Ken Blanchard and Randy Conley. In Simple Truth #17, “It’s Okay To Toot Your Own Horn,” we we given two really good points:

  • “When people appreciate what you’re doing, don’t say, ‘Yes, but…’ Instead tell them you appreciate their noticing” (p. 49).
  • “Along the same lines, when someone pays you a compliment, simply smile and say, ‘Thank you.’ Don’t disagree with them – that’s like telling the person they don’t have good judgement or aren’t very smart” (p. 49).

Those two points are great personal growth reminders and things I need to continually work on. These remind us to not be modest to a fault. If we underrate your own abilities, it’ll be hard for anyone else to recognize them. We need to give ourselves credit for our expertise.

When reflecting on the metaphor of tooting your own horn, however, I believe it is a leaders responsibility make sure those they serve do not need to take trumpet lessons. Instead we need to development a community where everyone is noticed for their contributions. We all know people who get ahead because they are gifted artists at the practice of getting the boss’ recognition—even if others have done most of the work. And we’ve seen the boss’s that don’t have the awareness to see through this. Then, in many organizations, those with their heads down doing the work are overlooked. It is a leaders responsibility to find these people. It is about awareness. Great teams shine the light on each other when they deserve it.

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