208-376-1701 bryan@bryanyager.com

First a quote: “Don’t worry about what other people think of you; worry about what they think of themselves when they’re with you.” – Unknown

Good morning and happy Monday!

My wife and I had an experience this past week that reminded me of a topic I have written about in the past. Today, I revisit that topic viewed through a fresh lens, based on our recent personal experience.

Before sharing our experience, I wanted to quickly touch upon some ideas from previous Monday Morning Minute editions. Almost all of us tend to live life while subconsciously listening to one of two different metaphorical “radio stations.” The first, is an FM station, which many of you are already familiar with… I refer to this station as “WII -FM” radio. I have heard some people pronounce this station as “whiff-em” or, What’s In It – For Me?

Simply put, WII-FM radio is observed when people experience change of any kind, and their natural inclination is to wonder what that change will mean for them personally. When leading people through change, leaders know the importance of answering this question for them, at least to the degree possible. How will the change impact the people involved? It is always important to help people see how their tasks, responsibilities, jobs, careers, and even their personal lives, might be impacted and in what ways.

My focus today, however; is on the second metaphorical “radio station.” First, our experience.

Last week, my wife Becky required a surgical procedure which posed (at least the potential) for significant long-term consequences, risk, and lifestyle implications… and with some possibility of cancer. We had several tense weeks of doctor visits, testing, and anxiousness leading up to her surgery.

(Everything turned out great and we learned on Friday afternoon that her pathology report was negative. Other than a couple weeks of recovery, all is good. We are feeling extra blessed this week!)

Here is what was interesting to me. Starting with reception, check-in, and all the way through the observation and recovery room processes, we noticed the same thing. When we were asked the question, “Who is your surgeon?” the response was always glowing and positive. Every time! We heard things like:

  • Oh, he is wonderful!
  • You’ll love him, he really cares.
  • He is great! Lucky you!
  • He is one of our favorite doctors/surgeons.

All these comments were, of course, extremely reassuring for one anxious patient and a concerned husband. Being curious, I asked Becky’s charge nurse about his glowing comments as he was taking her vitals and completing the final surgical preparation. His answer, “The doctor sees me and my work as important. He doesn’t act as if he is the only important person in the room.”

He went on to contrast his experience with other doctors he has worked with over the years. He said that some doctors speak and act in ways that suggest they are the only important people in the hospital. Successful surgeries take teamwork, and all our work is important. Your surgeon makes everyone on the team feel important too. He respects us and the work we do.

While I’ll never know for sure, I’m guessing the other people with glowing comments felt similarly while in Becky’s doctor’s presence. He recognized the significance of helping others know, and feel, the importance of the role they play on the team.

“I’ve learned people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but… people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

The second “radio station” most people listen to, often at a subconscious level is: HMFI – AM which stands for: Help Me Feel Important – About Myself

I suggest that successful leaders, like Becky’s surgeon, help people feel important about what they do, and who they are, as people, and not just as workers.

How will you live, love, or lead, differently, or better this week?

Here is your suggested “leadership development assignment” for this week: Find two people who might be struggling with their self-worth, confidence and/or importance. Then, find a meaningful way to let them know how important they are to you, your department and/or your company. Watch what happens! That’s it for this week, simple enough.

Just maybe, people on your team, and others, will describe you in the same glowing terms as used to describe Becky’s surgeon. I’m betting so.

By the way, Becky’s doctor made a personal call on his day off to let us know the pathology report was negative. You can bet we will never forget the way he made us feel… important!

Have a great week!!

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Bryan Yager


“Expanding Your Capacity for Success”

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Bonus Quotes:

  • “Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from their neck saying, ‘Make Me Feel Important.’ Never forget this message when working with people.” – Mary Kay

  • “When you help others feel important, you help yourself feel important too.” — David J. Schwartz
  • “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” ― John Bunyan
  • “We rise by lifting others.” – Robert Ingersoll
  • “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up.” – Jesse Jackson
  • “Strong people don’t put others down… they lift them up.” – Michael P. Watson