Give me an “E” - Encouragement

On a recent Saturday afternoon

while cheering on my favorite college team, the Clemson Tigers,

at a basketball game

I started thinking about encouragement.

College basketball players sure do get a lot of encouragement.

They get encouragement from


other players,

thousands of screaming fans,

the pep band,

and the cheerleaders.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Sports writers,


fans on their sofas at home,

all provide encouragement.

Now let’s think about your project.

How much encouragement are your “players” (team members) getting?

A lot?

A little?

Virtually none at all?

I’ve coached leaders on hundreds of projects.

Projects ranging from $10 Million to $18 Billion Total Installed Cost
In 10 countries and on 5 continents.

And diverse cultures.

And you know what?

I have yet to have a project team tell me they are getting adequate encouragement.

Many team members are getting so little encouragement

that they are ready to throw in the towel.

Walk away.

And find another job.

This is a real problem.

Because you need team members to be engaged.

And without encouragement, they won’t be engaged.

Do you really just want them marking time?

Counting the days until the project is over and they can move on?

Or do you want them engaged and eager to come to work each day?

Excited about producing extraordinary results?


EVERYONE needs it.

I’ve never met a person who didn’t need encouragement

at one time or another.

Just because there isn’t an outward expression of frustration,



or disappointment

doesn’t mean your team member isn’t struggling.

When people are struggling they need encouragement.

Are you, as their “coach” providing this encouragement?

Do you, as the leader of your project,

build a culture of encouragement among your entire team?

Be honest. Have you really?

When was the most recent time you encouraged someone?

When was the most recent time you witnessed a team member

encouraging another team member?

It is SIMPLE to give.

It only takes a minute or two

to let someone know

that you have confidence in their abilities

and that you are glad they are on your team.  

It is FREE.  

Project managers talk about cost a lot.

Encouragement costs absolutely nothing.  

It requires no cash outlay,

no approval process,

and no documentation.

No tools,


or equipment either.

Which team member do you suppose will work harder?


Produce higher quality results?

The team member who feels unnoticed and unappreciated?

Or the team member who has been encouraged?

 OK. Here’s what you need to do.

Get a post it note.

Write down the names of 5 people

who likely need encouraging.

Now, get up, and go see that person.

Or call them on the phone.

And encourage them.


You’ll be glad you did.

That’s it for now.

Be bold and make EXTRAORDINARY things happen.


See you soon.


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