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Turn It Up

"It's okay. If you screw up we can just turn down your microphone and turn everyone else up."

The bandleader was mostly joking, but his encouragement to the new backup singer contains some good advice for all types of leaders.

As leaders we spend a lot of time looking for, and trying to fix, what's wrong in our organizations. This is good and appropriate, but if we aren't careful, we can create a critical culture in which nothing is ever good enough.

Here's an alternative: amplify what's right. Spend a few minutes this week thinking about the bright spots in your organization. They may be aspects that everyone knows are amazing. Or they may be things that run so well on a consistent basis that hardly anyone even notices.

Once you've noticed, make an effort to point out to others what's going right. Then ask, "How can we transfer what's working in this spot to other parts of our organization?" Do this well and you can turn up all the mics.

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