There have been a lot of international political leadership campaigns recently, with a huge list of new presidents and premiers worldwide in the first six months of 2017. What is meant by ‘leadership’ will vary depending on which country you live in, but most people want to be inspired by the person who leads them.
During the debate for UK Prime Minister on 31st March, one of the opposing parties criticised current leader, Theresa May, for not attending the debate by saying ‘The first rule of leadership is to show up’. I think we’re all agreed we want to aim a bit higher than just turning up, but what does great leadership really look like? If you are or aspire to be, a leader then here are six steps to inspiring and motivating others:
1. Be motivated and inspired yourself You will never inspire others unless you are motivated and inspired yourself. Enthusiasm is infectious and spreads like wildfire. If you want to inspire, you have to feel it first.
2. Treat each person as an individual People are motivated in different ways. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to motivation. You may need to help them clarify how the strategy relates to them and their role.
3. Provide them with a challenge If new objectives are unrealistic they will de-motivate people and if they’re too easy people won’t feel they need to put much energy behind them. When you strike the right balance and make people challenge what they believe they can attain, they’ll be motivated to achieve them.
4. Keep them informed of progress When people know they’re making progress towards implementing the strategy it gives them an energy boost. When effort is rewarded they’ll be prepared to push harder to reach the overall goal. Communicate it with energy and enthusiasm. Congratulate individuals who have done particularly well.
5. Create a motivating environment Most people flourish in an environment where they’re empowered to do their job their way. This doesn’t mean there’s no need to monitor what people do but if you’re too controlling it will reduce motivation. Give them an opportunity to provide input on decisions about the strategy that affects them.
6. Recognition A sincere ‘Well done’ can really help motivation. Most people like to be appreciated for what they’ve achieved even if they brush it aside. If you recognise and acknowledge effort it will encourage them to keep going and overcome obstacles.