Traveling The Path To Great Leadership

Leaders are not born, they are developed. Great leaders are developed as a result of time, experiences and learning from their own mistakes. If you are going to lead, you are going to fail at some point in time and other times possibly win glass awards. The question becomes how you handle your failure. Some will let failure overwhelm them and send them on a spiral heading down. Others will fight back and seek ways to improve and emerge as a stronger leader.

Not everyone has the personality to be a leader of a group of people. Following a few strategies will allow anyone to expand their sphere of control. Whether that sphere of control covers a large group or just your own personal space is something you may never know until you develop the leadership skills that are waiting within you.

What Is Motivation?

It is frequently said that a good leader can motivate those that he leads or manages? This is true to a degree, but can also be a major misconception. Not everyone is motivated by the same things in their life or in the workplace. To be an effective motivator, a leader must get to know the individuals that he is leading and which buttons to push.

Some are motivated by money, pure and simple. The desire to make as much money as possible is their driving force in life and business. Frequently this characteristic is found in those that are involved in sales or are entrepreneurs. Motivating individuals that are driven this way is a straight road, but frequently managers make the wrong assumption that everyone can be motivated this way.

If You Aren’t Motivated By Money, What Motivates You

There is a philosophy in management that you manage numbers and motivate people. This helps explain why getting to know your employees is important. Some would give up several thousand dollars a year in exchange for being able to go home knowing they accomplished something that day. Others are motivated by a strong work-life balance and having time with their family. There are others that would rather help their team succeed instead of succeeding individually.

Damages Of Choosing The Wrong Motivation

One of the biggest dangers of choosing the wrong motivational approach is that a manager builds a wall between himself and his employee. The employee might feel the manager views him as a pawn instead of a person if he makes assumptions about how that employee should be motivated.

Training Is A Two Way Street

Many managers fail to capitalize on their opportunity to get to know an employee during training. Training might be the only time a manager of a large team really gets to know a new employee. It’s important to find out what motivates an employee and what buttons to push to get that employee to excel. As a manager, one of the best ways to find out what your employee is motivated by is to come out and ask that exact question of your employee. Once you get the answer, make sure you keep it to reference in the future.

Leadership and Motivation Are A Sales Job

Once you know how someone is motivated, that information is like holding onto a magic button. You know that your employee has a special ability. It’s like playing a video game when you need that little extra to complete the final level, or playing sports when you need to make that one last play to guarantee victory. Being able to get the most from your employees is not just getting lucky, it’s a skill that you develop in leading that employee.

Leadership Outside of The Workplace

This article has dealt mostly with motivation and leadership in the workplace. While the workplace is an environment that relies on motivation it’s not the only one. Parents frequently sit up late at night wondering why their child isn’t meeting full potential and how as a parent you can push him to reach that potential. Just like the tips in this article for the workplace, your child is an individual. As he grows, he gets closer to becoming an adult and will look for leadership on the journey.