Recently, I had the pleasure of attending the funeral of my friend Kermit. A pleasure, you ask? Yes, a pleasure and a honor, because it was a great celebration of Kermit’s life and the passion and spirit he brought to living it.
Usually, when I go to funerals, the spiritual leader (pastor, minister, rabbi, cleric, etc.) goes on and on about the deceased, a person he barely knows; and maybe one or two friends or associates might say something about the deceased. Well, Kermit’s funeral was special. The pastor spoke briefly, a singer sang a hymn, and then the pastor asked for comments from the audience. That’s when the funeral became really special. After one and a half hours later, over forty people had gotten up and shared their positive experiences and what Kermit meant to them. People from their 20’s to well over 60-year-old people from different spiritual, ethnic, social, and economic backgrounds stood up to make comments. People who served with him in the Navy (Kermit retired as a Commander) stood up and spoke about how Kermit changed their lives.
There was story after story about how Kermit made the speakers overcome obstacles and made them believe they could do better, and did this with passion. Some of them were as follows:
1. Past ballplayers talked about Kermit’s cowbell as a rallying cry at their ballgames.
2. A woman told of having a flat tire on a busy roadway and Kermit, whom she didn’t know at the time, stopped and helped her fix the tire; and then they became friends.
3. A businessperson talked about how Kermit volunteered his time to help him launch a business that is still going strong after ten years.
4. A previous player described how he was motivated by Kermit to make something of himself. He went to college and is a very successful basketball coach teaching the same principles that Kermit taught him.
5. A man explained that he was going through a divorce and bankruptcy and was thinking of committing suicide. Kermit heard about his troubles, called him, and helped him through these dark times. Now this person helps others through their challenging moments in life.
Wow! It moved me. Here are five leadership and success secrets Kermit shared with us. How can you apply them to become more successful and outstanding leaders?
1. What is Your Cowbell?
Create Passion! Kermit truly enjoyed working with people to make them better. It was not just the cowbell, but the emotion and excitement he experienced when seeing other people succeed. The cowbell was just the tool that Kermit used to show his passion so that others became passionate. Let your passion show. Let people know that you are excited about their accomplishments, and the passion will multiple.
2. Expect the Best
Excellence Will Take Care of the Rest. It was said about Kermit that when meeting people, he never met a stranger. In his mind they were already someone he knew. Kermit always expected the best when interacting with people, and they eventually rose to his expectations.
Expect the best out of people, and they will rise to your standards.
3. Understand So That You Are Understood
Kermit’s conversations were always centered on understanding the other person. For all the years I knew him, I never knew he was a commander in the Navy. He didn’t make his title the focus of the conversation. You see, it wasn’t about him; it was always about the other person’s interests, needs, etc. Because of this, people naturally wanted to become involved in Kermit’s projects and help Kermit make other people successful.
So my question is: How well do you understand your employees?
Take the time to understand their goals, wants, needs, hobbies, etc. The more you take time to understand them, the more your employees will want to help you succeed.
4. Give of Yourself
Kermit always gave his time, energy, and passion without “keeping score.” In return, the people he helped not only helped him, but went on to make a difference in other people’s lives.
Take the time to go the extra mile to see how you can help your employees, your team, and/or your organization without “keeping score.” Your employees will feel that you care, and then they will go to a new level of caring.
5. Share the Knowledge
Kermit took the time to share his knowledge with others so that they become more successful. Whether it was coaching a sports team, helping a friend start a business, or sharing his experiences to get a person through a difficult time, Kermit took the time to share his knowledge with others. Because Kermit shared his knowledge, other people became more successful and they shared their knowledge with others so that they could be more successful.
What special knowledge do you have that can help others succeed? Don’t hoard your knowledge, share it. By sharing your knowledge, you multiply yourself and become known as a developer of people. Your knowledge, once you share it, will live on after you are gone.
Apply these five leadership techniques and create success in your business, with your team, in your community, and your life. Just like Kermit, you will also see instant results.
Thanks for sharing, Kermit, and making the world a better place.
Ed Sykes is a professional speaker, author, and leading expert in the areas of leadership, motivation, presentation skills, customer service, and team building.
2 hours ago