Tomorrow’s business environment will be characterized by more complex problems, even faster rates of change than today, increased global competition, and the commoditization of most products. It is becoming more and more vital for organizations to develop a unique advantage over competitors. The motivational leader of the future will have to grow and set themselves apart from others in these areas:
1. Leadership is a relationship. Leadership is about people. You don’t lead things, you lead people. You lead people through the relationship you have with them. Only when you are able to build positive, trusting relationships with team members will you be able to effectively lead them. You can only develop trusting relationships by spending time with people, interacting, dialoguing, and sharing experiences. When you have relationships based on trust and experience, you know you can depend on each other no matter what the future holds.
2. Lead through goals and values. It is impractical to try to manage and control everything people do. When team members know the goals and are committed to the organization’s values, they will almost always act in ways supportive to the organization. The key will be the leader’s ability to crystallize the organization’s goals and values and effectively communicate them to team members.
3. Balance work. Believe in people, train and develop them continuously, and give them the opportunity to accept responsibility for significant achievement. Just as devastating as the failure to delegate is overdoing delegation. Giving too much of your own authority and responsibility to others who are not adequately trained, who do not share your goals, or who are overworked means that you will soon be out of touch with the operation and will lose the insight you need to influence the direction the organization is moving. Avoid this trap by maintaining a written delegation plan that details what you plan to delegate and to whom, with a schedule for implementing your plan.
4. Focus on strengths. It is easy to drift along allowing people to do the same work they have always done and assuming that is all they can do. People are the greatest underutilized asset in business today. Study people; learn their strengths, their personal goals, and their desires. Then give them opportunities to develop new abilities and learn new skills that will make them more valuable as team members and more fulfilled as individuals. When people grow, the whole organization benefits. Everyone has both strengths and weaknesses. It is the leader’s responsibility to put team members in the right role to best utilize their unique talents and abilities.
5. Multiply your leadership. Make yourself available for new assignments and increased responsibilities. If you are already at the top, developing someone to take over is even more important. The ultimate measurement of a leader’s success is how many other leaders they have developed. Organizations succeed in direct proportion to the number of leaders they have. With only one or a few top leaders, organizations must resort to a hierarchical bureaucratic structure to manage and control the actions of employees. This structure is destined to fail in a fast paced, ever-changing business world. The ideal goal is to develop everyone into a leader.
LMI’s multi-phase Effective Motivational Leadership program is designed to help leaders communicate and motivate like visionary legends Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.