In 1964, Harvard psychologist Robert Rosenthal teamed up with school principal Lenore Jacobson in a study that would gauge the impact of teachers’ expectations on their students. A number of elementary students were given an IQ test, the actual results of which were not disclosed to their teachers. Instead, Rosenthal and Lenore selected a number of students at random, and told their teachers that these children had scored high on the test, and were destined for academic greatness.
When the study came to an end, the students were tested again. This time the data indicated that the students whom the teachers believed to have been gifted ended up scoring much higher on the IQ test than their classmates.
This self-fulfilling prophecy is known as the ‘Pygmalion Effect’ and it plays out in schools, colleges and in workplaces around the world. In its essence, when a leader believes that their employees are capable of greatness, this belief is projected onto the individual employees. These high expectations lead to superior performance from individual employees, and ultimately better results are achieved.
The inverse of this is also true – if a manager has low expectations of an employee, that employee is likely to underperform as the leader’s negative beliefs are projected onto them.
In order to succeed, a rebel entrepreneur knows that they must surround themselves with the very best from their respective fields. However, for optimum results, a rebel entrepreneur must have faith in their team and show this faith in them. This faith will empower the individual members to perform to the very best of their ability. This ensures that the future of your business is in the hands of brilliant people who believe in themselves as much as you do.
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