Patton pins the Silver Star on Private Ernest A. Jenkins, a soldier under his command, in October 1944. (Wikimedia Commons)
On The Leader's Notebook this week I am featuring a guest post. I may not do this often but every now and again, I may find something (or someone) I want to introduce to the Notebook's readers.
This week's guest is not only a business/leadership/marketing/management expert; he is also a personal friend and former colleague. Dr. Steve Greene has extensive experience in business and in business education. Dr. Greene was the dean of the college of business at ORU while I was the president of that university. Before his highly successful years at ORU, he provided excellent leadership at a multi-million dollar television company and a major restaurant chain. Today he is a blogger, publisher, speaker and a business consultant with an extensive clientele. Dr. Greene is also a member of the Board of Directors of Global Servants Inc.
Don't Tell People How to Do Things - Really?
Guest blog by Dr. Steve Greene
I read Bill O'Reilly's latest book, Killing Patton. Bad reviews aside, the book reminded me of a classic quote from General George Patton ...
"Don't tell people how to do things; tell them what to do and let them surprise you with results."
Well, the good general has one thing right in his thinking: There is a surprise coming.
I suppose the General forgot about boot camp, otherwise known as basic training. The essence of basic training is to teach men and women HOW to do what needs to be done. "How" must precede "what."
Aren't you regularly surprised by what people don't know how to do?
I truly believe that every business problem I have seen in my years in consulting and leadership could be traced back to a nexus of poor or nonexistent training. Leaders may speak about culture and policies during on-boarding, but a vacuum exists, in general, in the teaching of "how."
Remember Lombardi's classic opening to his training camps for the Green Bay Packers ... "Gentlemen, this is a football." His first few days of camp ... for an NFL team ... consisted of blocking and tackling drills. How many games were lost in the NFL this past season because of miserable blocking and tackling? Most players know WHAT to do but have perhaps forgotten HOW.
Our millennial leaders and those in development learn from YouTube and Google. If we pay close to attention to the training being delivered online, we will probably conclude the video creator was well aware of the HOW-GAP. YouTube has become a how-to library.
So leaders, how much time per week do you spend teaching the younger members of your team on how to do what you expect them to do? Please consider the following tips for training:
And what's a training session without a good devotion? Find a Bible lesson to tie in to every class. Pray for the Holy Spirit to teach the hearts and minds of your team.
The efficacy of your ministry will ultimately depend upon know-how.
"But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you" (John 14:26).
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president – Media Group, Charisma Media. Sign up here for Dr. Greene's leadership e-newsletter.