“Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch
Every day, good and bad leaders make and break companies. A person should never be appointed to a leadership position unless their vision focuses on people’s strengths rather than on their weaknesses.
The ability to motivate and inspire your team is the leader’s most critical performance area. Many leaders think that tactically brilliant decisions alone make them better managers. They are wrong.
Why? Since motivation is closely linked to productivity, performance, and profits, it should be one of your highest priorities.
Well-motivated people achieve far better results.
To motivate your people to perform, you need to:
- Display unwavering integrity. When people talk about the integrity (or honesty, fairness, or moral courage) of a leader, what they mean is that followers must have absolute belief in their leader.
- Make them part of the bigger picture. Show your team how they fit into the entire organisation. Change the use of dividing language like “you and me” to “we.”
- Tune your thinking to theirs. Be empathetic. Learn about their interests, ambitions, goals, characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses.
- Get out of your office. Make walking around and interacting with your team a priority. You’ll motivate your employees by taking an interest in what they’re doing. Acknowledgment, when they do something good and positive, is a strong motivator.
- Recognise accomplishments by individuals in your team. Handwritten notes are often more impactful than bonuses. Be mindful of recognising achievements in front of people who don’t have the same opportunities. Use appropriate methods of reinforcement.
- People respond to positive and rewarding outcomes. Tie your reward system to specific results and performance levels. A reward loses value when given when it’s not deserved.
- Show confidence in your employees. Have high expectations for your team. If you expect people to achieve, they usually do.
- Give authentic praise, not token lip service. Praise the person and give specific examples of her or his excellent work.
- Always criticise constructively and tactfully. The goal of criticism is to leave the person with a feeling that he or she has been helped, inspired, and supported, not hurt. The good idea is to make the best effort to start and end the criticism on a positive note. Criticise the action, not the person, and try and avoid the word “you”. Criticise in private and limit it to one problem.
- Drive passion and enthusiasm. Leading a team takes a great deal of energy. And a leader cannot sustain the motivational force to keep everyone moving in the same direction unless they have boundless enthusiasm for what they are doing.
Businesses need better leaders in this low-trust environment that we currently work in.
A good leader can change someone’s life for the better, can inspire them to great things, and will leave a lasting impression on the people around them.
Isn’t that whom you want to be?
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not a bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humour but without folly.” Jim Rohn