As a leader, we can be the best at presenting reality, driving change and overcoming resistance; however we can only achieve consistent success by motivating our people. In my experience, great management and leadership skills combined with the ability and willingness to motivate, make an unbeatable combination in optimizing performance and realizing consistently positive results. Indeed, our most important responsibility as leaders is to recruit, motivate, and retain great people.
Much has been written and said about the art of motivation. Billions of dollars are spent each year on motivational programs, seminars, books, and talks.
Although there is value in these approaches, the most powerful motivation for people in the workplace is the relationship that they have with their leader.
I feel that there are two important conditions that preclude and sustain our ability to inspire and motivate people, and they are trust and respect.
Trust. When I refer to trust, I am talking about the relationship that we develop with the team with which we work. In order to earn trust, I believe that the team should feel that we are at least as committed to their success as we are to our own. When we invest time in both personal and professional skills development, we demonstrate a sincere desire to help our people to grow as individuals and as professionals. As people grow in their skills and confidence, a sense of trust also grows between the leader and the team.
Every leader needs to remember that a healthy respect for authority takes time to develop. It’s like building trust. You don’t instantly have trust, it has to be earned. -Mike Krzyzewski
Respect. Respect is the result of not only talking the talk, but walking the walk. When we practice what we preach as leaders, we set the right example and become role models for our team. When we earn the trust and respect of the team, they are much more receptive to our ideas and thrive on the positive encouragement that we give them. Platitudes and pep talks can be effective if they are combined with a strong dose of trust and respect.
Help them to dream big, but first help them.
Finally, look for the good in your people. No one is perfect, and all of us thrive on genuine positive feedback and encouragement. Find the native genius in each person and build on their strengths while helping them to overcome their challenges. Earn their trust, help them to grow, become their biggest cheerleader, and they will reward you many times over with a passion and commitment to greatness that will be reflected in the performance of the team.
About this series: Our CEO and President shares his experiences and insights as a thought leader for 39+ years in the technology industry.
CEO Insights: My 4 Pillars of Leadership
CEO Insights: Presenting Reality - The 1st Pillar of Leadership
CEO Insights: Driving Change & Overcoming Resistance - The 2nd & 3rd Pillars of Leadership