Here’s another one: ‘work smarter, not harder!’

I hope you’ve never used this one in a misguided attempt to motivate a subordinate. If you have, you’ve just told the employee they’re dumb. Not very motivational, eh?

Personally, I don’t think employees are dumb (and if you have one, how did they get hired in the first place? And in the second place, why are they still with you?). In fact, I think most employees, unless they’ve been so totally mismanaged that they’re completely disengaged, actually try to find the best way of doing things. Simply exhorting ‘smarter’ work is not likely to get results…

On the other hand, employees may may lack experience in how to get things done, and for that, an effective leader can help them think through options and work plans. But that also requires a real commitment – and real work – on the part of the manager or executive. If the leader puts in the effort, I can almost guarantee the results will be remarkable.

So, if you work harder, your employees will work smarter.

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