Are you constantly asking yourself how you can motivate and inspire your team? You can finally answer that question by realizing that it all starts with you. Yes. You.

But, where's the starting point? You can begin by reviewing and implementing these 25 tips in your leadership strategy.

1. Listen

Christine Riordan, a leadership coach and president-elect of Adelphi University, tells the Harvard Business Review; "To be able to motivate and inspire others, you need to learn how to listen in both individual meetings and at the group level."

To achieve this, be aware of your own listening habits - both good and bad. If you aren't a strong listener, then that's should be a priority for you to work on. Also keep a lookout for nonverbal cues and get rid of any distractions.

2. Get Your Everyone On the Same Page

Make sure that each and every team member is completely aware of the big picture. Whether it's completing a project or knowing the main goals that you have established for the business. Getting everyone on the same page can be challenging, but if you involve the team during the planning process, have it clearly written out, provide them with the proper resources, and delegate and designate tasks, you'll be able to get your team on board.

3. Pay Them What They're Worth

Do you think that your team will come to work every morning excited and inspired if you're paying them a below average salary? Do your homework and find out what the salaries are for your industry in your area so that you can pay them a competitive rate. This can be a big reason in an employee feeling unmotivated.

4. Stop Selling

I find that when I stop selling my employees on what they need to do better and focus on what they are doing well I get much better performance. Most of the time the employee knows what they are doing wrong. By you selling them on the visions of the company and what you want to achieve they will adjust accordingly.

5. Focus On Strengths

You've probably come across numerous articles that explain the importance of knowing both the strengths and weaknesses of your team members. But Michelle LaBrosse begs to differ. "One of the biggest myths in business is to focus on weaknesses instead of building strengths. It's a backward way to approach problem solving - like fitting the proverbial square peg into the round hole." Not only will this speed up projects, you'll keep your team happy because they're succeeding at what they're actually good at.

6. Show Appreciation

Who doesn't enjoy hearing a since 'thank you?' In most situations simply feeling appreciated is more valuable than any sort of reward or recognition. Besides personally thanking team members for a job well done, you can also send them personalized notes and praise them in public.

I find that the more I show my appreciation, the more quality work gets done.

7. Be Sincere

Speaking of sincerity, make sure that you always speak from the heart. Rebecca Shambaugh adds, "Express your own values, passions, and emotions when appropriate, which reflects your true self."

8. Get in the Trenches

If you think barking orders to your employees while barricaded behind your office door is going to motivate them, then you're sadly mistaken. Sometimes you have to roll-up your sleeves and get in the trenches with your team. Amancio Ortega, founder of Zara and briefly the richest man in the word in 2015, was known for working side-by-side with his designers.

9. Stop Micromanaging

Let's be honest here. Micromanagement sucks. It doesn't empower your team. Instead, it prevents them from reaching their full potential. In order to stop micromanaging your team, make sure that you have hired the right people, hold everyone accountable to each other, clearly define expectations, give employees the power to make decisions, and give them ownership stake.

10. Provide Tracking Metrics

You'll want to let your team know how they're performing. And that can be done through tracking metrics like quality of their work, punctuality, and whether or not they're subordinate.

11. Create a Pleasant Work Environment

Constructing and maintaining a pleasant work environment is one of the most effective ways to motivate your team. There are actually numerous ways that this can be accomplished like keeping the workplace clean and well-lit to removing toxic team members.

12. Remove Slackers

Letting employees go is no easy-task. But, it's a necessity. Especially when it comes to the employees who aren't contributing to the overall health of the organization. The team members who are pulling their weight will definitely have resentment towards the team member who they always have to clean-up after. Here are a few tips to help with working more productive hours.

13. Don't Lecture, Teach

Here's another gem from Llopis, "Employees are tired of being told what to do." He adds, "They are eager to learn and remain relevant." Instead of wasting their time with lectures, give them the right tools and resources to succeed, and also be there to mentor them.

14. Embrace New Ideas

Don't close yourself off to new ideas. You never know when the next great idea is going to be presented by one of your team members. Besides that, if you shut-down every idea that a team member has they'll be less likely to share and contribute.

15. Speak the Truth

When you're honest with your team members, even if it's telling some bad news, you're earning their trust. When they trust you, they'll be more inclined to rally behind you and your vision.

16. Do What You Say

As Jonathan Long states in Entrepreneur; If you don't plan on doing something, then don't mention it. When you do what you say you will do, you will earn the respect of your team. Developing a reputation for following through establishes you as a respected leader.

17. Celebrate Success

Tony Robbins says that "Great leaders are constantly finding ways to honor their key people and celebrate their success." He adds, "Extraordinary leaders understand that there's only one thing that makes people happy long term and that's progress." And, progress leads to happiness. Even the smallest accomplishment should be celebrated.

18. Foster Collaboration

Peter Econonmy says on Inc.com that "39 percent of employees don't feel that their input is appreciated." That's why it's important to; "Encourage the members of your team to fully participate by inviting their input and suggestions on how to do things better. Ask questions, listen to their answers, and, whenever possible, implement their solutions."

19. Welcome Creativity and Innovation

Your team members want to contribute to the overall success of the organization. The best way for them to do this is by giving them the opportunity to contribute creative and innovative ideas that could help the business grow.

20. Hold Yourself Accountable

While holding your team accountable can be a useful tactic, it helps them feel as if they're personally invested, you also have to hold yourself up to the same standards. You're not going to motivate your team to complete a deadline when you're behind your own deadlines or goals.

21. Create Healthy Competition

By implementing a simple reward system you can create healthy competition among your team. For example, you could hand out a monthly award for the team member who had the most sales for the month.

22. Be Flexible

You're working with a group of individuals who have different personalities, learning styles, and ways of thinking. That means that a 'one-size fits all' approach to your leadership style isn't going to be effective. Be flexible so that you can address the wants and needs of each individual.

23. Create Team Spirit

Anush Kostanyan says in the Huffington Post; "Team is like a family, where mutual support and trust are the most important values." She adds, "Organize team activities both during working time and after. You will have the half of success by creating and maintaining a powerful team spirit at the workplace."

24. Know Your Team

Want to boost morale and productivity? Take the time to actually get to know each individual member of your team. Not only does this illustrate that you actually care about them, it also clues you in on what drives them to success.

25. Don't Punish Failure

We're all human. And that means that we're going to make a mistake every now and then. Give your team members a break if they do slip-up. As opposed to pushing them, use the mistake as a teachable moment that everyone can learn and grow from/

Published on: Apr 21, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.