Opinion | When Dad’s trick was not so daggy | Greg Mowbray

They say we should be passionate about at least three things in our lives.

In my case, in no particular order, it’s the Newcastle Knights, building leadership capability in individuals and organisations, and my family.

A couple of these things came together on Father’s Day when my four kids came to the Knights last home game with me.

While, in my professional life, I work with a wide range of aspiring leaders across a variety of industry sectors I am always mindful that my number one leadership job is to be the best father possible.

Many things I pass onto people who are striving to be better bosses are also applicable to the role of being a parent.

I'm not perfect by a long shot, but I am very committed to being the best I can.

It is remarkable that so many things I pass onto people who are striving to be better bosses, are also applicable to the role of being a parent.

I am pretty hands on with my youngest two.

This week I was helping Tully (the toothy one in the middle) with her Grade 1 reading.

She is an excellent reader and the book she bought home from school was, what I thought to be, way beyond Grade 1.

She was going OK, but I played a trick, albeit a daggy, Dad trick.

I feigned amazement that here she was in Grade 1 but reading a book that could easily have been for Grade 6 kids.

I pumped her tyres. I praised her for trying hard.

I told her that I didn't believe it was possible that she was reading that well.

Within seconds, her reading went to another level.

Whenever she got to a challenging word, she stopped me from helping her, sounded it out, and (mostly) got the word right.

She simply believed in herself more and her performance lifted. She beamed with pride at her improvement.

There is strong evidence that organisations with the best cultures, with the most engaged employees, and who perform at higher levels, also have leaders that praise and recognise the contributions of their people.

Praise and recognition cost nothing, but are powerful motivating forces in the workplace.

As leaders, we have the same opportunity to build self confidence and self belief in our people.

Of course, it should be authentic and genuine.

People will believe in themselves if you believe in them first.

I encourage leaders to understand and accept that one of their most important responsibilities is to lift the performance of their people.

Building self confidence and self belief is a crucial part of this.

Who can you praise this week?

Greg Mowbray is a leadership speaker, author, mentor and consultant.

Email him at greg@gregmowbray.com

PASSIONATE PRAISE: Greg Mowbray with his little red and blue crew.

PASSIONATE PRAISE: Greg Mowbray with his little red and blue crew.