[August 1, 2018] My recent experience with the Boy Scouts at summer camp (articles here and here) brought a number of comments from readers asking for practical leadership tips. I’ll soon start a short series on this, but for today I’ll offer one of the most useful of all practical leader tips; remember their names.
Yes, that’s it … just remember the names of people you meet and remember the names of their family, their friends, and acquaintances. When someone tells you their name and the names of those close to them, it is incumbent upon you to remember them. This goes to the point that was made back in 1757 by Major Robert Rogers of the famous Rogers Rangers Rules of Discipline. Among other things, he said, “Don’t forget nothin’.”
Don’t forget their names. Don’t forget the details about people. This advice is one of the most common and learning to remember names is a frequent subject among those advising leaders. They all have similar suggestions. See some popular articles here, here, and here. I recommend you scan these. The main theme is clear; you must be motivated to remember people’s names.
Why do we want to remember names and other details about folks? The answer is part of learning to be a leader. Leadership is defined by how we act toward others. We should show, as a leader, that the people we meet are valued and respected. If you remember their name, they will reciprocate in several ways; loyal, respectful, and willing to do as you may ask.
Practical leadership means doing those everyday things that make it easier to convince others to do things they would not ordinarily do, because they want to do it.