As I wrote about in my previous post, names matter a lot, and I think titles and rank do as well, specifically when others are around and respect them.
The umbrella here seems to be that people are dramatically affected by how others view them.
That’s too bland.
People become what they’re perceived as.
Of course that’s too strong, but I’ll take it.
Basically, if you’re told you’re a lowly solider you’ll likely act like one, and if you’re told:
You’ve always impressed us. We know you’re a top performer. Now it’s time to become that. You’ve been promoted, and now you’re going to lead.
Two things seem likely here.
- They really are a top performer and they will do really well
- They’re not really a top performer, but they’ll change their confidence and outlook and try harder, so they’ll look like one anyway
These seem far more likely than the person simply failing completely, which means that to outsiders it simply comes true most times.
What’s the takeaway?
Depending on the environment you’re in, there are likely many people around you who are capable of great things, but who have names or ranks that inhibit or constrain them.
Find those people. Give them names, ranks, and titles that will allow them to become their potential.