Someone shared a Leadership article with me this morning, of which I read many, and it made me realize that being in both positions (having a leader and being a leader), I have come to my own conclusions! Most articles do have much truth to them. I have found over the years of having a leader, just what motivated me and what did not. Those things I will share below!
How the leader made me feel.
Yes, I used the word “feel”. These days that word tends to be overused, however it is the basis of what motivates most of us. When I had a leader that made me feel he/she had confidence in my abilities, I performed at a much higher level. When I felt that they believed in me and even reached out for my thoughts or opinions, I wanted to raise the bar for myself! Feeling good and confident about what you are doing can lead to much higher results!
I am a team member!
Speaking to me as part of the team and not an employee. This is a big one for me. When someone speaks to me like an employee, I am immediately on edge. What ever job I have ever had, I gave it my all. I take pride in my own work, so I work at a much higher level when I am spoken to with respect and made to feel like part of a team effort.
Don’t penalize everyone!
When someone on the team continues to have poor or bad behavior, do not penalize the entire group. This is and has always been a distraction for me. Being someone that takes their work seriously, when the team is being reprimanded as a whole, even though the penalizing may not be toward me, I can assure you I take it to heart. I can be thrown off track and begin wasting time trying to determine how I could have done something differently for fear of being in the wrong. Unfortunately this is a waste of time and energy 99% of the time, only to find out I wasn’t in the wrong but the message was broadcast to all instead of pulling the person aside to discuss. Has this ever happened to you? And the squirrels in our head go running rampant!!
Do as I do.
And finally, a good leader for me has always been someone that is willing to do what they are asking the team to do, or at the very least has great knowledge of how to do it. Then, instead of criticizing as we go, they cheer us on to encourage us to greater heights. Bottom line…make your people feel important. When someone says “if you don’t like it, you can leave”, that does NOT encourage motivation. Instead, perhaps listen to what is happening and let the people know they are being heard.
Thankfully I have had years of great leaders that motivated me and I learned so much from. I’m also grateful for a few years in between where my leaders were not as great, because they taught me how NOT to be as a leader. We learn from the those particular leaders just as we do the good ones, right? And the one thing I know for a fact is that a great leader NEVER stops learning!
Cheers to having a great leader, and eventually BEING that great leader.