Leadership is based on two things:
- Understanding the motivation of the people who work for you, and
- Being able to get them to work towards your vision of where the business is going.
You need to look at what motivates people to give their best in the workplace. Without an understanding of this you may set up the wrong structures and simply be adding challenges to getting your team headed in the right direction.
In recent times there has been a move away from the ‘command and control’ style of leadership, where a leader basically imposes his or her will from the top down. These days, effective leadership generally involves giving teams and individuals a degree of autonomy and letting them find ways to work in the most efficient way possible. According to current thinking, you guide and motivate people by giving them frequent and informal rewards and encouragement. Rather than focusing on ways to impose discipline, leaders now focus on trying to ‘catch somebody doing something right’ so that they can reward them and reinforce a particular kind of behaviour.
This change has come about partly as the results from studies about what people really want out of a job. These studies typically approach this by getting employees to rank a number of items they think motivate their team, and then getting the team to rank them. Most commonly, the rankings are widely different.
||Appreciation and recognition
||Feeling “in on things”
||Good working conditions
||Sympathetic help with problems
From: Niebrugge, Vicki, Declining Employee Morale: Defining the Causes and Finding the Cure, NOVA Group
Note the things that are real motivators for employees. These are the things that you, as leader, need to keep in mind in building your HR policies.
So if the ‘leader’ is not out there looking for people who are doing things ‘wrong’ and directing them to do it ‘right’ what are they doing? Well, what they ought to be doing, what a leader’s primary purpose is, is to provide an overall sense of vision about where the company is going, and ensure that this vision informs all decisions on strategic and management issues.
Frozen Ps a
Materials Courtesy of RANONE
Sometimes when I start working with a new client who runs a business that employs people, they will ask me questions like:
- Why is it that I can’t seem to motivate my team?
- Why is it that my people don’t seem to care about the business the way I do? (Yes – I have been asked that)
So, what do you need to consider if you own a business that is dependent on your people to deliver its success with you:
- Hand on heart – have you talked to you team about your plans for the business?
- Do you regularly meet with them to discuss progress, opportunities and challenges you are facing (headlines are OK – you don’t have to discuss details)
- Are you confident that what your team hear from you, is what you thought you said or intended to say?
- How much do you really know about your people, their skills, achievements, characteristics that you are not aware of that could add value to your business?
- Are you able to confidently delegate or do you keep everything to yourself because it’s quicker and easier?
Some of the answers to these questions provide the raw material for looking at how you work first – Inspiring Leadership starts with you – its you as an owner to create the atmosphere in which you will encourage your team to excel.
So, steps to take:
Develop a vision for your business and SHARE it and involve your team
Plan to have regular ‘Strategy/Planning Updates with your team and ask for feedback from them
When you issue instructions – seek feedback immediately so that you check what you are asking for is what has been heard
Plan to do skills audits so that you gain an insight into team members abilities and organise occasional social events to learn about them ‘off duty’ and very importantly celebrate successes.
When planning to delegate work:
- Select team member for their skill
- Ensure that you give full instructions (rather than a quick briefing and then be disappointed when the task isn’t completed the way you wanted)
- Ensure that they have ALL the resources they need to be successful
- Set deadlines
- Seek feedback
- Debrief after the task
And then keep delegating because the more you do the easier it becomes, you will find your team will become more confident and more engaged.
If this blog describes you, then try some of these ideas and post comments on the blog to share your experiences.
It really doesn’t matter what size your business is – all owners have to learn to be great managers and leaders
‘Release The Power of Your Ps’