This past summer, after getting home from working a normal operator shift of only getting to sit down if I locked myself in a restroom, I received this text message. We have all gotten the text or call from an employee, a capable and amazing employee, that cannot figure something out or does not know what to do. It always seems to be when there is not a whole lot we can do from afar to assist them. So, what can we do in this situation? We can believe.

As a manager, we promote others to be a part of the team. Why do we select the ones we do? For me, it is because I believe in them as leaders, and trust them to do the best they can, always be honest, and have a desire to learn in all circumstances and situations. I cannot allow them to do any of this if I fix all their problems for them. “I believe in you” is a phrase I use often, especially with leadership staff. It follows statements such as “I can’t figure out how rotations got so messed up” or “I don’t know how to coach this employee.” Employees, including leadership staff, often look to those they work for immediately when they cannot accomplish a task or have a problem. Early in my career, I just fixed it for them. What was the result? Not only did they never learned how to problem solve, they also never learned how to believe in themselves and their abilities. Once I adopted the phrase “I believe in you”, I saw a shift in the staff. I still got eye rolls and sighs from time to time, but they always figured it out, and then told me about their accomplishments, to which I responded with my second favorite phrase of “I knew you could do it.” I truly believed they could, they just need to believe it. Our job as leaders is not to provide all the answers, but to help facilitate an environment where belief in oneself is encouraged and expected instead expecting someone else to fix the problem they are more than capable of fixing. This also means creating an environment where it is okay to fail and make mistakes, if they are honest about it and willing to learn how to fix it. Mac Anderson, the founder of Simple Truths and Successories, Inc., says “never underestimate the power of belief when it comes to fulfilling your dreams. I can say with no hesitation that every person I’ve ever met who has achieved any degree of success has one thing in common: they believed with all their heart they could do it.” I believe. Do you? #ibelieveinyou