If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. John Quincy Adams
Today’s topic was nominated by Pittsburgh based listener @MStuart3462 via Twitter. I’ve already released several episodes that cover motivation for ones self, and motivating others has some similarities and there’s a lot of information in this one so I’ve split it over two shows. I can’t go into the topic of motivating others, however, without first going into the subject of leadership.
Jim Rohn says that The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.
And there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the old traditional ‘carrot’ v ‘stick’ approach will not work. Essentially, motivating someone with rewards can reduce intrinsic motivation, and motivating someone with the fear of punishments may provide short term compliance, but can reduce creativity and enhance the fear of failure.
In an article for Forbes magazine Kevin Kruse explains that:
Leadership has nothing to do with seniority or one’s position in the hierarchy of a company. Leadership doesn’t automatically happen when you reach a certain pay grade.
Leadership has nothing to do with titles. You can be a leader in your place of worship, your neighborhood, in your family, all without having a title.
Leadership has nothing to do with personal attributes. Those with charisma don’t automatically lead.
Leadership isn’t management. Because managers manage things. Leaders lead people.
Kruse actually defines leadership as a process of social influence which maximizes efforts of others towards achievement of a goal. Leadership he says stems from social influence, not authority or power and essentially leadership is about maximizing the effort of others. It’s not, “Hey everyone, let’s line up and get to the top of that hill someday.” But rather, “Hey, see that hill? Let’s see how fast we can get to the top…and I’ll buy the first round for anyone who can beat me up there.”
Of course there are many styles to effective leadership but that lays out an honest definition pretty well.
An article on americanexpress.com details the 7 most common leadership styles.
Number 1 is the Autocratic style – Autocratic just means a ruler who has absolute power and who takes no account of other people's wishes or opinions. This command-and-control approach is typical of leadership styles of the past, but it doesn't hold much water with today's talent.
Number 2 is the Authoritative style - Unlike autocratic leaders, authoritative leaders take the time to explain their thinking: They don't just issue orders. Most of all, they allow people choice and latitude on how to achieve common goals.
Number 3 is the pace-setting style - "Do as I do!" is the phrase most indicative of leaders who utilize the pace-setting style. This style describes a very driven leader who sets the pace as in racing. Pacesetters set the bar high and push their team members to run hard and fast to the finish line.
Number 4 is the democratic style - Democratic leaders are more likely to ask "What do you think?" They share information with employees about anything that affects their work responsibilities. They also seek employees' opinions before approving a final decision.
Number 5 is defined as the coaching style - The leader who uses a coach approach seeks to unlock people's potential.
6 is the affiliative style - Ultimately, this style is all about encouraging harmony and forming collaborative relationships within teams. It's particularly useful, for example, in smoothing conflicts among team members or reassuring people during times of stress.
Finally we have number 7 – the Hands Off style On the surface, a hands off leader may appear to trust people to know what to do, but taken to the extreme, an uninvolved leader may end up appearing aloof. While it's beneficial to give people opportunities to spread their wings, with a total lack of direction, people may unwittingly drift in the wrong direction. This style may work in teams of highly experienced people, but not with others.
I’ll come back to these leadership styles in part 2 but for now let’s look at four ways to motivate and inspire those that you lead.
1. Lead with vision Employees need to know that all their efforts are driving towards something. They need to know that there’s a destination in sight. That’s where vision comes in. Shane Metcalf, VP of Customer Success at 15Five, reminds us why it’s important not skimp on vision. “Without a compelling vision that inspires everyone to rise up and make it happen, you can try every engagement trick in the book and you will only have short term boosts followed by crashes in morale. With vision at the helm though, you create an intrinsic aspiration that taps into the human desire to realize individual and collective greatness.“ UNQUOTE / Sara Pollock, Director of Marketing at Clear Company, breaks this down further. “Employee motivation and engagement is driven by a clearly communicated mission and vision. Without transparent goals that demonstrate to your people how their work contributes to company objectives, you will find it difficult to truly engage your workforce. It’s been proven that when companies engage their top talent around a company mission, their employees are 400% more effective.”
2. Be motivated and inspired yourself You will never inspire others unless you are motivated and inspired yourself. Enthusiasm is infectious so if you want to inspire you have to feel it first. By leading from the front, you can motivate the people around you effectively through your actions. Research suggests that motivation is contagious, with people working harder when they are surrounded by likeminded individuals. This is why it is so important to surround yourself with a good team.
3. Focus on the WHY. Having a strong Why behind your company’s mission will help motivate every action your team takes. As Simon Sinek so famously pointed out in his book FIND YOUR WHY, the what and the how are easy for most companies to identify. It’s the why that’s hard – and that makes all the difference. IMAGINE THIS – A leader needs to get his team members to share an important company announcement on social media. Which approach do you think is most effective? Approach #1: “Please share this blog post on your Facebook page. It’s really important.” Or Approach #2: “Please share this blog post on your Facebook page. This announcement is a game changer for us, and the shares we get in the first few hours after the initial launch will have a significant impact on how many people we reach overall.” What approach do you think would work the best? I’ll give you a hint – It’s number 2. When you take the time to explain the reason behind your directions, you’ll get much higher buy-in from those that you lead. To be motivated, people need to realize the impact of their day-to-day work and fully understand how it affects the business as a whole.”
4. Treat each person as an individual People are motivated in different ways. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to motivation. You may need to help them clarify how the strategy relates to them and their role. The individuals you’re trying to motivate will have a range of different personalities and therefore multiple motivators. Understanding the people around you will allow you, as the motivator, to get the best out of each person in a range of different situations. And remember one of the principles from my 2 parter on How To Win Friends and influence people, and take the time to learn the names of the people you are working with. Calling your team by name will work wonders with your relationships.
Remember that when you’re working on motivating others, it’s definitely important to strengthen their sense of belonging. You’re leading a little family and when everyone’s happy – and they’re motivated to achieve big things.
In the next episode I’ll continue with the final 6 ways to MOTIVATE and INSPIRE OTHERS and if you like what you’ve heard here today then please spread the word about the show and don’t forget to leave a review if you have the time on whatever app that you listen to this show on. Taking a leaf out of todays lesson, The reason I need you to help is that I simply can’t reach a wider audience without you. If you can get just two new people to listen and subscribe then it would triple my listening numbers. Without you, I struggle on my own to produce the content and market it broadly. It’s tough, and I could really use your help in this.
I’ll end with these words from Peter Drucker Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.
Now take control of your own destiny, keep on shootin’ and join me next time on FILM PRO PRODUCTIVITY AND SUCCESS!
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Thanks: A Himitsu & Jacquelyn Hower
Music: Adventures by A Himitsu
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