How to foster engagement

  • Hold people accountable to results, not effort. What to do (results), not how to do it (effort). For example, a cable internet company, effort would be swapping out a customer’s modem for a new one. Results would be restoring the customer’s internet access.
  • Trust develops naturally when people deliver results.
    • A person that repeatedly restores customer internet access is going to shine in your mind.
    • A person that repeatedly swaps out cable modems, albeit exactly what you said, is still going to be associated with the frustration of upset customers that call back because their internet still doesn’t work.
  • Don’t worry about motivation, worry about dissuasion. People will naturally feel a sense of accomplishment from delivering results. But, it only takes one callous comment to dismantle motivation.
  • When mistakes occur, the only mistake is not being mindful of how you react.
  • Put people in positions where can-do meets want-to-do. Skills should be the last thing in an interview, not the only thing. In fact, want-to-do alone is often enough, people with passion will figure out how.
  • Operations don’t scale without leveraging autonomy. There’s a limit to the number of people you can control. There’s no limit to the number of people you can lead.