I really appreciate being constantly reminded of my mistakes! 8 ways to deal with people issues.

27785143_mI have made a lot of mistakes. Some of them were quite spectacular. And while formal training, my master’s degree, and supplementary reading have taught me the theory of leadership, my mistakes have taught me more than I care to admit.

My first leadership lesson took place when I was not much more than six or seven. I was a voracious reader, devouring comics, magazines, books about superheroes, and war stories. The best of all was Hardy Boys books. I wanted to read every single Hardy Boys story. One day, I went into the drugstore in our little farming village and saw a Hardy Boys book I didn’t have. I didn’t have the money for it. So I slipped it under my shirt and walked out. On the surface, it was a small act—but whichever way you slice it, it was stealing.

I got home and, of course, got busted. A shiny new hardcover book couldn’t just show up in our house without everyone knowing about it. I was marched back to the drugstore to turn myself into the store owner. My dad waited outside of the store while I went in. I managed to get to the rack of books, slipped the stolen book back where it belonged, and left. Dad asked if I talked to the owner. With my backside on my mind, I told him the truth.

I was turned around on the spot and, once again, marched back into the store to “face the music.” I admitted my crime and apologized. To my shock, the store owner only admonished me gently. More importantly, he thanked me for admitting my crime, returning the book, apologizing, and being “an adult.”

The trip back home was my equivalent of walking the green mile. I was sure I was heading to the gallows, but it was over—my dad left it at that. Looking back now, I cannot recall ever hearing about the incident again.

The lesson I took away from the ordeal was this: when something is over and dealt with, it’s over.

Read more about Attila The Hun & Saying Thank You

Managing Issues Effectively

As a leader, your most frequent challenge will be managing the issues that inevitably arise when dealing with people. Try to remember—and consistently encourage others—to cooperate. In the end, your value as a leader will be judged by the performance of the people who make up your team. And their performance will be a reflection of your total personality, your attitude toward life, and particularly your approach to people. Your success or failure will be a direct result of how well you align your organization’s goals with the career goals of your people and deal with any friction caused by misalignment.

The following suggestions will help you achieve results:

  1. Focus your attention chiefly on results rather than the activities you think will get you there. Everything should be about results.
  1. Plan and organize effectively.
  1. Communicate objectives properly, with time targets, established measurement systems, and designated accountability.
  1. Establish performance expectations so all concerned will be focused and will know how their performance will be measured.
  1. Communicate a “results-oriented” attitude to encourage people to develop self-reliance and achieve their goals with confidence.
  1. Motivate people to their peak achievement.
  1. Be creative and help others develop their creative potential.
  1. Track all progress so that what is planned is achieved.

Get 8 suggestions to improve how you motivate

How Do You Measure Up When It Comes to Issues Management?

Read each statement or question below. On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 meaning “never” and 5 meaning “always,” mark an “X” where you think you are today on each measure, and then mark an “O” where you would like to be.

1.     You look for the critical factor(s) that must be changed before anything else can be changed or acted upon, to unearth the real problem.


1                        2                      3                      4                     5

2.     You make sure that your problem-solving objectives reflect the objectives of the organization.

1                        2                      3                      4                     5

3.     You consult all who should be consulted before making a decision.

1                        2                      3                      4                     5

4.     You evaluate your decisions by predetermining their possible impact on people and things.

1                       2                      3                      4                     5

5.     You predetermine how long the organization is committed by your decisions.

1                        2                      3                      4                    5

6.     You make sure your decisions do not violate established rules, policies, procedures, good ethics, or morality.

1                        2                      3                      4                    5

7.     After defining and analyzing problems, you develop as many alternative solutions as possible to widen the range of choices before coming to a final decision.

1                        2                      3                      4                    5

8.     You are skilful at timing. You determine whether or not the situation is something urgent requiring quick action, or whether long, consistent effort is needed.

1                        2                      3                      4                    5