Motivating Others: Lead the Way
of the previous eight columns presented a step to motivating others:
inspire confidence, demonstrate enthusiasm, ask “what’s in it for others,”
delegate responsibly, help people learn from their mistakes, listen
effectively, communicate openly and give helpful feedback. The ninth step
is to lead the way. People are motivated by those who actually show the
way rather than just tell how to do something. Here are five ways to lead
Share the vision. Effective leaders establish a vision for the
organization and then paint a picture, produce a plan and tell the part
individuals will play in accomplishing the vision.
Trust others. I have written elsewhere that “Good leaders find good
people, put them in positions of responsibility and then hold them
accountable.” I would add: once leaders bestow responsibility on
others, they should demonstrate trust by staying out of the way.
Be visible and accessible. Although leaders should not get in the way
of those who have been given a task, they must remain accessible.
Accessibility provides comfort, stability and encouragement to others.
Set the example. Nothing motivates followers more than one who leads by
example. Actions do speak louder than words. The great American poet
Edgar Guest said it this way: “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any
day; . . . [It] is not the one who tells them, but the one who shows the
Lead by giving credit and taking blame. Leaders who take credit
themselves and blame others de-motivate them. Those who take blame for
failure and give credit to others motivate them.
Next month we will discuss the final and perhaps most important thing you
can do to motivate others; That is encourage them.
February 2007 - Motivating Others: Lead the Way