In my previous post I revealed 7 principles that I got from a review of Chapters 1-5 of The Mary Kay Way: Timeless Principles From America’s Greatest Woman entrepreneur.” Today my review continues with timeless principles that can benefit small business owners, leaders in direct sales, entrepreneurs who outsource tasks, and every thought-leader who works with people; all from Chapters 6-12.
1. Giving criticism: Criticism will most likely be made at some point but Mary Kay felt that a good manager should direct criticism to what’s wrong; not who’s wrong.
Managers must be strong and speak in a straightforward way, but should sandwich that criticism between praise – before and after. Doing so lessens anger on the part of the recipient. When people recognize that the good they do is appreciated, it makes them more willing to put effort in their work. Criticism should never be given in front of others as it’s cruel, but is also self-defeating.
2. “People will support that which they help to create.” When you invite people to contribute to an idea and offer solutions they have a vested interest and feel responsible to ensure its success. On the other hand, when you dictate even the most thoughtful and logical concept to someone they view it as a command and may or may not choose to cooperate enthusiastically.
3. Follow-through: This requires discipline and planning. Schedule time to return phone calls, reply to correspondence – regular mail or e-mails. If you need to forward to a third party, make sure to follow-up to ensure that the matter has been handled.
4. Enthusiasm: A good leader is enthusiastic and arouses enthusiasm. It’s easy to be enthusiastic when everything is going smoothly but the challenge is to maintain enthusiasm under adverse conditions. What you think about you bring about, so act enthusiastic and you will become enthusiastic.
5. Lead by Example: Mary Kay taught that the ‘speed of the leader is the speed of the gang.’ A good leader must present a good appearance as well as demonstrate good work habits. People often copy a leader’s work habits and self-discipline, for better or worse. A good leader operates from experience not from theory.
6. Help Other People Get What They Want: The goal for being in business should be to service others and fulfill a need. Some of the people served may be part of the organization, but in helping them to get what they want, you will also get what you want.
Which of these principles appeal to you most?