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  • Writer's pictureErin Bailey Lake

Don't Wait to Say "I'm Proud of You"

What a year this month has been! Around the world, we're learning a new way of life. How to Zoom. How to work virtually. How to homeschool. How to keep local businesses alive. How to save the world from COVID-19.

How to stay 6 feet away from your grandchildren – when all you want is to scoop them up in your arms with a hug that says, "Everything will be OK."

As business leaders, we want results. Now. We lead sprints, we track action steps. We expect excellence. Then, if we're good capitalists, we reward and praise that excellence.

Business school coaches us to be leaders – not cheerleaders.

It's a new world. Don't wait. Don't wait to say: "I'm proud of you."

When the Supply Chain Manager hits a backorder – even though they worked round-the-clock away from their kids: "You're working through this, and I'm proud of you."

When you're meeting on Adobe Connect and someone's microphone doesn't work: "Hey, I see you texting your contributions and working to stay connected. I'm proud of you for pushing through this."

When she's worked that homeschool geometry problem for 3 hours, and still has no idea how to explain it to the kids: "Honey, I'm proud of you. Homeschool will be great. You can do this."

Business school taught us to push for absolute peak excellence.

We'll get there.

Right now, excellence looks messy. Your Senior VP can't work his microphone. Your new hire writes garbled emails. As Adam Grant told us in his brilliant TEDTalk, even messy procrastination has value.

Remember: we're all pushing harder than ever before. Praise the work, and you'll get the results.

I can't fix your microphone, but I can help that new hire with Better Business Writing. I can also send you a note of encouragement. For help:

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