Who was your favorite teacher back in elementary school? Remember? The teacher who celebrated everyone’s birthday, who trusted you to take the class hamster home over the long weekends, and who sat with you in the nurse’s office when you had a fever but your dad couldn’t leave work until 3:30 pm to pick you up. Now think back to how this teacher treated you and the other students when it came to math, reading and even recess time. I’m willing to bet that she or he offered words of encouragement to everyone, even when your class lost the annual spelling bee. And when you were last choice for the kickball team, the teacher told all the kids that the best player is always saved for last. Your fond memories of this teacher have likely stuck with you over the years and even brought a smile to your face during a tough day at work.
This is the power of positive praise.
I’ve had the privilege of working for inspirational leaders over the course of my career who inherently know how to encourage the team. One in particular, Larry Gomperts, is a Stanford MBA grad who I reported to at Robbins Brothers and is now CMO at ForwardLine Financial. Larry continues to motivate employees with a simple “thanks for a job well done” in meetings, sending appreciative emails and taking time in the hallway to commend a staff member for a recent accomplishment. I am pretty sure Stanford can’t take the credit for Larry’s leadership style, but if business schools don’t offer courses in positive management, they certainly should add it to the curriculum.
Here are 10 positive quotes that every employee, supervisor, manager, director, VP and chief executive should memorize and share with their teams on a regular basis:
1) “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” John Wooden
2) “If you don’t make mistakes, you’ll never grow.” Steve Robbins
3) “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you don’t care who gets the credit.” Harry Truman
4) “The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
5) “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Wayne Gretzky
6) “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” Steve Jobs
7) “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Jesus
8) “Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” Babe Ruth
9) “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
10) “If you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, don’t ask what seat! Just get on.” Sheryl Sandberg
In the words of motivational guru Zig Ziglar: “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.”
Share your favorite motivational quotes with #dailymotivation, and more importantly, make it a habit to encourage those in your office, facility, government building, classroom and at home each day.