Last week, I covered tips 1, 2, and 3—You can gain access to them here.

Provoke Their Greatness Tip #4

Get your hands dirty. Recently, I took my car in to get the brakes and rotors replaced. While I had an appointment, it was clear that they were behind schedule. After learning it would take two hours to finish the job, I headed to the local coffee shop to work. Six hours later, I got the call that my car was ready, only to find out that a lug nut broke at the last minute and they were going to need an extra hour or two. The next day, when I came back to pick up my car, I asked a different manager (a guy I’ve experienced several times) what happened. “They bit off more than they could chew, and the guys don’t respond well to the other manager. “Why do they respond so well to you and not him,” I asked, curiously. “Because I get my hands dirty with them and he doesn’t.”

Provoke Their Greatness Tip #5 

People support initiatives they help to create. Several years ago I got the opportunity to work with the U.S. Navy. At the time, they were struggling to keep junior officers, and had created an elaborate plan to shift their retention rate. They had planned to begin offering paternity leave, increase education for dependents, and help with childcare, just to name a few changes that were slated for the immediate. “Great list,” I cheered them on, “and we need them to believe they created it.” After traveling the country for nine months and engaging hundreds of thousands of sailors in a conversation about what the Navy needed to do in order to keep them, their turnover problem disappeared.

Give people a chance to understand the problem, help create the solution, and they’ll jump on board.

Provoke Their Greatness Tip #6 

Watch what you reward. One leader walked around talking about how busy he was all the time, and then couldn’t figure out why his team wasn’t focused on getting results. Are you rewarding busy bodies, mean sarcasm, and burn out? Or, are you rewarding focus, fun, and honest conversations that result in collaboration? Look at your results—they’ll let you know what you’re rewarding.

Provoke Their Greatness Tip #7 

Provokability requires vulnerability. No great leader ever inspired a following without sharing her vision, passion, and fears. When you care deeply about the result you’re going after, the possibility of failure can be crippling. For this reason, it’s easier to do work you don’t care about, but the likelihood of attracting team member who care about their results is slim.

Be on the lookout—Tips 8, 9, and 10 coming next week. 

Here’s to Your Greatness,

Misti Burmeister

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