It's not easy to get people moving forward. A working team usually has people with different levels of self-motivation. Yet, somehow, a leader has to get everyone moving at a similar pace in roughly the same direction. Then the leader has to keep the team motivated through good and bad, thick and thin.
Great leaders don't leave motivation to chance. They know that the slightest mishap, whether internal or external, can bring momentum to a grinding halt. Great leaders are purposeful in making sure their actions always push the team ahead with positivity and productivity. Here's how they do it.
1. They lead by example.
Just barking orders and meting out punishment will not get your people to be their best. Great leaders demonstrate the desired behaviors they expect from their team. They live the core values they evangelize so the team can see the benefits of a consistent approach.
2. They ask a ton of questions.
There is little so simple in business that it can be easily understood. Great leaders want to get to the truth, and questions are the best way to get there. An inquisitive leader is motivating to the team, who can be confident that their path has been well considered.
3. They hold their team accountable.
When a few people are allowed to slack it demotivates the rest of the team that works hard. Great leaders understand there must be consequences for non-delivery in order to prioritize timely completion.
4. They encourage personal and professional growth.
People need to know that their leaders are interested in more than just output. Great leaders want their people to be their best and they are willing to help them get there. People will work harder for those who show genuine interest in personal development.
5. They reward integrity.
It's frustrating and demotivating to see backstabbers and manipulators rise to the top by playing the system. Great leaders institute fairness and advance those who truly earn their way.
6. They instill hope, not fear.
People who are afraid will do the least amount possible to avoid the whip. They will wake up every day stressed and unhappy. Great leaders use the carrot more than the stick and encourage people to step out of their comfort zone to bigger and better possibilities.
7. They support new ideas.
People can easily become demotivated if a leader is constantly shutting down any new suggestions or improvements. Great leaders know they need to involve the team in advancing the process, which gives team members ownership and pride.
8. They create healthy competition.
The leader doesn't have to do all the work to get the team to advance. Great leaders encourage friendly competition so team members push each other to rise to new levels.
9. They are specific with feedback.
It's hard for someone to improve if standards are vague. Ambiguity can frustrate an employee and make them wonder why they bother. Great leaders provide clear understanding so employees can easily improve and succeed.
10. They challenge their employees.
People can get a little too comfortable if left to their own accord. Great leaders look for potential and nudge their team members to push their own limits. They then encourage celebration for the breakthroughs.
11. They reward with more than money.
For many employees, money is not the highest reward priority; it comes in behind recognition, appreciation, and growth. Great leaders are well versed in all types of rewards and get creative about making rewards personal and meaningful.
12. They communicate efficiently and effectively.
People want clarity and don't want to waste time getting it. Great leaders are skilled communicators. They know how to say what they mean in a clear and productive manner.
13. They hold regular one-on-ones.
People hate wondering where they stand. Great leaders hold quarterly reviews at the minimum. Many make time to meet more often so people feel they are worthy of attention and don't stray too far from the plan.
14. They show genuine concern.
People need authenticity from their leaders. Hypocrisy and patronization will always surface eventually and erode trust. Great leaders know they need to be real with their people and jettison toxic relationships.
15. They communicate the higher vision of the company.
If people don't understand where they are going and why, their work will be shallow and mundane. Great leaders know that people want to serve a higher communal purpose and will grow to meet the objectives when they clearly understand them.
16. They set reasonable expectations.
People will begin to falter if they constantly hit an unexpected wall. They will feel their work is in vain, so why bother? Great leaders know to set the bar at the highest achievable point so people can stretch and still celebrate the wins.
17. They encourage higher levels of responsibility.
Micromanagement only serves to meet minimum standards and creates frustration and resentment. People cannot grow if you are hanging over their shoulder. Great leaders know how to give their people room to grow and build confidence so they will develop into great leaders as well.