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Updated: Nov 4, 2021

The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break. Rick Hansen

Today’s topic was suggested by Pittsburgh based @MStuart3462 on Twitter. In part one of this series I discussed leadership styles and what leadership actually means. And I introduced you to 7 common types of leadership style. If you’ve not heard that show yet then I strongly recommend that you go back and check it out first.

The 7 styles of leadership that I listed were the autocratic, the authoritative, the pace setter, the democratic style, the coaching style, the affiliative style and the hands off style. Knowing which of the leadership styles works best for you is part of being a good leader and developing a signature style with the ability to stretch into other styles as the situation warrants may help enhance your effectiveness.

Have you considered since the last episode what your dominant leadership style is? Mine used to be the democratic style, but I am adapting from that as I have been let down a significant number of times in recent years as I employed it. I think it was perhaps tainted a little by the hands off style as I felt after years of working with truly brilliant people that my oversight on peoples work may be regarded as intrusive. The reality I have learned the hard way however is that some people require a stronger hand and oversight, whether they like it or not, than others, and that not everyone who presents as competent is actually so. I’ve had several projects torpedoed as I have been let down by what I have come to know as arseh*les and imbeciles who have lied about or greatly exaggerated their abilities and left me and my projects in the sh*t.

So I am adapting to utilize some of these styles myself now, and I am doing all the better for it. If you can understand these different styles of leadership you can decide what styles work best for you in any given situation. A self-assessment of the leadership style you employ now will teach you what new skills you need to develop. Once you know this, you likely will need to practice the other styles to make them work for you. Moving from a dominant leadership style to a different one may be challenging at first but you can practice the new behaviors until they become natural.

The ability to adapt your leadership style will be very valuable to you. Traditional leadership styles are still relevant in today's workplace, but they may need to be combined with new approaches in line with how leadership is defined for the 21st century.

I talked about flexibility and adaptability in an earlier episode this season so you should be open to this sort of thing already. An agile leadership style like this may be the ultimate way to lead today's talent.

The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He or she is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. Ronald Reagan

5. Number five on our list of ways to motivate and inspire others is Give People Responsibility. If there are certain tasks that you’re allowed to delegate to others, by all means choose someone to take responsibility for that task. When people are fully responsible, they’ll be more likely to find the motivation to complete. This is because, as a part of a group, they may not feel like their hard work matters, but when they’re responsible for a specific element it certainly matters. They also, of course, will be aware that they’re being held accountable for the success or failure of the project. I once gave someone who I later realized was inherently lazy, a task like this. They didn’t complete it and feigned ignorance of the responsibility. Make sure when you allocate the tasks that they absolutely know, it is their responsibility to complete it.

6. Set realistic yet challenging goals When trying to motivate a team of individuals leaders can use this principle to increase the chance of positive outcomes. Research from the University of Illinois has shown that setting goals correctly can help increase the motivation of students in the classroom, by improving concentration and focus, which in turn encourages them to partake in challenges and have a more positive attitude towards the class. If new objectives are unrealistic they will de-motivate people and if they’re too easy people won’t feel they need to put much energy into them. When you strike the right balance, and make people challenge what they believe they can attain, they’ll be motivated to achieve their targets.

7. Keep them informed of progress. When people know they’re making progress towards implementing the strategy it gives them an energy boost. When effort is rewarded they’ll be prepared to push harder to reach the overall goal. Communicate it with energy and enthusiasm. Nobody likes to be left in the dark, and yes sometimes there will be things that you’re not supposed to share, but make an effort to spread the word when you can communicate important issues.

8. Champion Friendly Competition. Emphasis is on the friendly here. Competition can be a great motivator but if you let it get out of hand, conflict will rise as you see morale and teamwork deteriorate. If you decide to engage your team in some competition make sure it stays in the realm of fun and not cutthroat. The challenge is not just to get your top performers to perform better, it is also to train them to pull up everyone around them. Plan your competition around a specific goal and Reward teams, not individuals. Stephan Cook explains: “The trick to keeping work competition friendly is to promote fair play. Although individual successes can be hugely rewarding, often team wins can have an even bigger impact. It’s important to find the right balance when incentivizing your team – a mix of individual and group goals along with clear rules that promote collaboration over sabotage are essential to long-term success.” unquote

9. Use the Golden rule, and you should know what this is if you are a dedicated listener. The lessons we learned as kids are just as relevant now as when we first learned them on the playground. The Golden Rule, is treat others as you’d wish to be treated yourself. Shawn Murphy author of The Optimistic Workplace – explains: “Too often I hear managers say they shouldn’t have to focus on motivating their people. It’s their job to do their best… Really?! He asks Since when did kindness, thoughtfulness, and being human stop having relevance in the workplace?” This is a big one for me as I have rediscovered my values as I set out to do this podcast and as I worked with and started cutting off people that didn’t treat others with respect. So “If you want motivated employees—remember the Golden Rule,”.

10. I’m going to end with Recognize a Job Well Done How will recognition motivate my employees? Here is why it’s a great idea. Remember the cycle of productivity that I have raised in earlier episodes? In simple terms it goes, have an idea, set yourself goals, complete those goals and then acknowledge and celebrate those achievements. If you miss out the celebration phase it short circuits the cycle. Recognition creates an emotional connection between leader and follower – a critical piece of employee engagement – and it fulfills your follower’s basic needs of esteem and belonging within a group. And of course, recognition is essentially free! A sincere ‘Well done’ can really help with motivation. Most people like to be appreciated for what they’ve achieved even if they seem not to.

So I hope that this two-parter has been useful to you. I have to say that I’ve found the exercise of researching and writing it particularly useful and I will be applying what I’ve learned here to future projects. If you are struggling with a particular problem, please remember that you can always drop me a line to talk about it, suggest it as a topic or write in a question which I can answer in a MAIL BAG episode. The contact page on the website is the best place to go as I sometimes miss things on social media. There you will also find a contact form and a voicemail service called SPEAK PIPE which will allow you to contact me directly.

The day soldiers stop bringing you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them. Colin Powell

The next show was going to be the final episode of the season but as I was working on the NEW YEAR SPECIAL I realized that I just had to make it a two-parter. The episode that was planned to go next, where I’ll be talking about STOICISM - the endurance of pain or hardship without the display of feelings and without complaint will move on to become the first of the new year shows. In effect the 1st episode of season 6. Remember folks that as we are now part of the INDIE FILM HUSTLE PODCAST NETWORK new shows go out every two weeks now and there will be no three month break.

I can sense a collective sigh of relief that 2020 is nearing an end and in two weeks’ time I’ll have part 1 of NEW YEAR SPECIAL which tackles a topic I’ve done before. It is a full and up to date breakdown of how to use Jinny Ditzler’s YOUR BEST YEAR YET strategy to plan and achieve success in 2021. These shows are really not to be missed, they are the first full shows created since we have moved over to the network and they are gonna be pretty awesome. The will also be accompanied by a competition where you can win one of 5 copies of Jinny Ditzler’s book.

I’ll end now though with the words of American health care activist Byllye Avery who reminds us that Practicing the Golden Rule is not a sacrifice, it's an investment. Treat Others as you would wish to be treated yourself.

Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!

The music you can hear right now is Adventures by A Himitsu

You can view the show notes for this episode on the official website

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