Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Leadership is about motivation

Leadership is not a simple task, but I think you will come far if you focus on motivation.

How to motivate while you lead can be done in a number of ways. The first step is of course to understand your teammembers. Find out what makes them tick.
I think the best way to go is to find common interests and focus on that. Knowing the persons on your team makes it easier to find something that will naturally interest the individual.

Cool cash
This an easy way to motivate people. Money is a fundamental requirement for everybody. The problem with this is thats if this is your only motivator you can easily be outbid by others.
If we reflect this to training a dog this resemples giving your dog treats when it does what you tell it to. It will work as long as the dog is hungry and likes your treats. If someone shows up with better treats you have lost.

This is the opposite of the Cool Cash motivator. This is where you punish people if they don't do as they are told. This method has worked like a charm for many dictators in the past. The downside is that there can't be any alternatives to your leadership, and thats not easy to enforce in todays society. This works best if you have an uneducated workforce.
In dog training this resembles beating your dog untill it does it right.

Common interests
You need emphathy to succed with this one. You need to understand what drives the people working for you. If your workforce matches the tasks you have, it's going to be easy. They will more or less do it right whatever you say. This is about choosing the right team for the job. If you need to herd sheep, choosing a hunting dog would be a bad choice.

Once you have your team put together you need to know what drives your team members. Some people strive for acknowledgement by coworkers, some live by the shear technology challenge presented to them and other people strive by other things. It's important to realize that motivation is not just important as to maximize output by your team. If you don't know how to motivate your team, it will collapse. And chances are that it will influence other parts of your business.
In dog world this resembles: If you have a herd dog and don't provide stimuli, it will take your house apart.

No comments:

Post a Comment