Effective Leadership – How to Inspire Your Team

Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. – Robin S. Sharma

One characteristic that is often said about leaders is that they can motivate a team.  The truth is a leader does not motivate.  A leader creates the environment for the team to motivate themselves.

Here are some thoughts on how to inspire your team:

The first thing you should do is offer them bonuses for working harder and faster right? Or introduce the threat of punishment for those who take too long?

Wrong!

When you introduce penalties and rewards, you encourage faster, sloppier work that is more likely to lead to mistakes. What’s more, is that you encourage people to step on each other to get to the top. And you stifle creativity!

So what do you do instead?

Internal Motivation

We have already discussed that the leader causes the environment that inspires others to motivate themselves.  That means that the motivation is self-generated.   When motivation is self-generated each team member is inspired to do their best to help the team reach its goals and objectives.

When you can make it so that the activity itself is rewarding, then you’ll find they naturally work harder of their own volition.

So how do you create this environment?

Ownership

One solution is to give your team some degree of ownership over what they are doing and to give them credit for their rewards. A good way to do that? To put their name on what they create!

There is a big reason behind why this works and that is that it gives them a sense of pride in their work. That in turn makes the work rewarding – this is their project. If it goes well, then they can brag about it. And if they can brag about it, then it will benefit them.

At the same time, it’s also important to give your team some degree of control over what they are doing. That means making sure that they can make decisions if they need to and take the necessary responsibility that comes with that. Once again, this makes the project feel more like it is really ‘theirs’ and it makes them much happier to work longer hours as a result.

Of course there are other ways you can make work fun too! Introducing lots of breaks, changing the working environment and even gamifying certain aspects can all make a big difference to the way that your team work and behave – so give it a go!

The Biggest Tip

But the biggest tip of all? Make sure you have the right people on your team in the first place. Some people just won’t find what you’re doing exciting. And, they’re the wrong people for your organization!

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