You Light Up My….Eyes?

Leaders always ask the question, “Am I doing my team right?” Well, good leaders ask that question. (Bad leaders don’t care.) And while this is a concern, Benjamin Zander has a fantastic measuring tool. In his Ted Talk, Benjamin Zander on music and passion, he says you can tell if you’re affecting your team by looking to see if their eyes are shining.

HAHAHA…ok, I have to stop and explain the pic…’cause Aaron West is gonna kill me! We were at an EntreLeadership One Day event in Kansas City. At lunch, one of the items was an incredible broccoli and cheddar soup. As Aaron started on his, he pulled out what looked like a head of broccoli. Apparently they grow broccoli big in KC. As you can see, there’s another clump still in the bowl the size of a Kia.

Back to shinning eyes. Aaron West is one of those guys who you absolutely cherish! He is always there for you, rain or shine, and I have no doubt that if I were ever in danger, he would race in guns a-blazin’! Or…throwing large heads of broccoli. It’s all about what’s available at the time.

I hired Aaron to be an event coordinator, specializing in audio-visual. I flew him, his beautiful wife, Becca, and their gorgeous baby, Ariana, from North Dakota out to our Total Money Makeover LIVE! event in Charleston. When I showed him our set-up, his eyes lit up! I knew then that this was the guy for the job. He had talent, passion and a love for what we do. Actually, I tell him it was Ariana that got him hired.

But just hiring Aaron was not enough. Once he was on my team, it was my job to keep his eyes shining. You see, too many leaders think leadership is all about the position. I watch this confusion all the time from people who think that all they need to do is get the title and then they’re an instant leader. Not true. Leadership is all about those who are following you. It’s kinda like Twitter. If you don’t have anyone following you, it doesn’t matter how many tweets you send out.

My job was to make sure that Aaron saw his job as being bigger than he is. That each day, what he did was going to change someone’s life. Or, better yet, 10,000 lives in one sitting. I also had to make sure he felt like part of the team. That his ideas mattered. And probably most importantly, that I believed in him. Which was not a difficult thing to do.

Do his eyes shine? I believe so. But more than that, because of Aaron West, my eyes shine! You see, leading is about making other people successful. When you do that, naturally, you are successful too. What are you doing today to make your team members’ eyes shine?

Question: What can you do to make your team’s eyes shine?

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