Professional mantra: make everyone around you look good
A friend and I were discussing this concept over the weekend. His boss had passed along this piece of advice to him, explaining that if those around you look good, then inevitably you also look good. It's not the first time I've heard this, but for some reason, it struck a chord this time. As someone who is extremely attentive to detail to the point of being slightly anal, it's much easier for me to find fault and criticize others' work when I feel the product hasn't reached its full potential. While it's okay to have high expectations, it's absolutely vital to be able to find positive aspects in your colleagues' ideas and their work product. Finding the bright spots and exuding confidence in those around you is the single-best way to inspire and motivate. Ultimately, if those around you are inspired and motivated, they are more likely to do their best and this is the most powerful ingredient to achieving success as a team.