Leaders need to push people more

Recently I gave several inspirational talks to young entrepreneurs and students about passion and how it's the key ingredient to everything we do. I quoted a story from my company where I explained how I was learning to manage my company… by pushing people beyond their limits.

Push

It's not about making people work overtime

We do sometimes work too much. Especially before shipping the desktop Nozbe application the entire team was working very hard. We did it, because we love what we do… and we fell in love with the result (cool and fast native application).

But this is not what I mean by this blog post.

It's about helping people grow by challenging them.

It's about helping your co-workers realize they can do better. What's amazing about it is the fact that they will surprise you and themselves by seeing what they are capable of. That's why you, as a leader need to push them.

Example: Pushing my engineers.

Many times my co-workers, especially my engineers respond to one of my requests to improve our app by saying: "Michael, I like your idea but this can't be done".

I'm like, "OK, I get it… but just think about it… check it on forums or something… and get back to me tomorrow".

The next day I usually get a totally different reply: "Michael, it's done - I've managed to pull it off, it wasn't easy but it works!" Now, that's refreshing :-)

Of course, this doesn't happen all the time, but usually that's the scenario.

To grow, we should all challenge ourselves.

That's why it's so important to push each other and grow together. Especially I see my work as the person in charge of the company to push my team even more. I have to remind myself about it. The moment we stop pushing, we stop innovating and stop growing.

Maybe I should change my job title - from "Chief Productivity Officer to: "Chief Pushing Officer" ... but it sounds really weird :-)

What do you think? Do you push yourself? Do you push your team?

I'm Michael Sliwinski and I'm an entrepreneur who's also the...
.. Founder of Nozbe.com - a time and project management web application
.. Editor of Productive! Magazine - a global PDF publication on productivity
.. and a blogger as well as a producer of a weekly 2-minute Productive! show.

Posted on Monday, July 11, 2011 (business)