”Influence their thinking and you won’t have to control their behavior.”

Great leaders influence thinking instead of trying to control behavior. They learn “why” team members perform as they do, especially in critical situations when resources and time are limited and the outcome is uncertain.

Your team performs and improves in direct proportion to your ability to influence their thinking, not their behavior. Poor performance is a product of poor thinking and a poor attitude.

Great leaders influence two questions their team members think about constantly. First, can I succeed in this position? And second, is there any value here for me? How they answer these two questions in their mind, not yours, determines their performance.

Do not assume you know the answer. If you do not influence their thinking concerning these two questions, you can be sure someone else will. If you are not happy with a team member’s performance, forget the sticks and carrots incentives. Find out what he or she is thinking.

If you have earned their trust and respect, they will tell you the truth. If you have not, let the games and disappoint begin! This kind of leadership influence did originate at the Harvard Business School. They simply followed the greatest leadership manual of all time.

“As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7

Leaders, you usually know how your team is performing. Do you know what they are thinking? Until you do, you will never be completely happy with their performance.