How to Be a Motivational Leader

by Mar 22, 2021

Business Innovation Brief Best Article

If you are the leader of an organization, it is mostly understood that it is your responsibility to motivate employees and other people on your team to do the best they can.

Is it really your responsively to motivate people?

I will argue that the priority of a leader is to set an example others will want to emulate on their own, and to foster an environment where people are freely self-motivated.

Part of the responsibility of being a good leader of an organization is to nurture the qualities of people and encourage them to be their best in order to succeed.

Here are some concrete steps on how to be a motivational leader. Following these steps will enable you to see progress in your organization and in your team with respect to their motivation and productivity.

Shared Vision and Purpose

It’s often been traditionally understood that a leader is to create the vision for the team and instill the purpose. However, this isn’t being motivational, this is more about having controls in place to drive expected outcomes. Sadly, fear has also been used as a motivational tool for far too long

An alternative way is to co-create an inspiring vision of the future with your team and your organization. This approach gives everyone involved something to look forward to with the work that they are doing.

When the team can visualize, at a very personal level, the result of their hard work vividly, they work harder to realize the set goals.

When they feel personally vested in developing the stories of the success of the company, you can ensure that everyone has a more relatable and vivid experience of the way visions work.

“Co-creation gives people a purpose to work towards, and greatly reduces the friction that comes from things being pushed on them.”

Have Clear Goals

Everyone wants to produce results that are tangible. However, when people aren’t clear on what is expects of them, they can’t be successful even if they want to.

Part of being a motivational leader in your organization has historically been about providing your employees or members of your team with a set of clear goals and purposes that they can follow.

However, for people to be motivated to work hard towards what they are expected to achieve, they have to be personally vested.

“Motivating people isn’t about getting them to follow you or a vision, it is about empowering them to co-create a vision they will personally own.”

For example, you can’t expect employees to get excited about an IPO if they have zero equity in the business. It’s counterproductive to the goal of achieving an IPO not to share the wealth upside with the people who are going to make that possible.

When it comes to clear goals, they too need to be co-created, and their values shared among all involved.

A motivational leader will work with people to jointly agree on goals and create an environment where the risks and rewards are shared equally among all involved.

“Enabling a shared authority organizational model is the key to motivating people to personally own the company’s success.”

Lead by Example

One of the best leadership qualities is to lead by giving personal example. By working smart and hard, you show your team that you have professional integrity and a can-do attitude.

“Your personal example of integrity will compel employees to work harder to achieve more.”

This positive reinforcement that you provide to your teammates will pay off in the long run with better efficiency and overall productivity.

Leading by example does not mean just showing your positive traits. It is about being authentic and showing your vulnerabilities as well.

Afterall the most effective motivational leaders create a safe space for people to be real, and authentic. This creates mutual respect, trust and intimacy.

When you have a team that is co-creating together, you also need to give space for the imperfections to safely shine. It is in this intimate environment that teams can truly help each other thrive. It is human nature to want to be helpful to others.

“To achieve shared organizational purpose, you have to embrace vulnerability and authenticity.”

Encourage Teamwork

When you encourage teams to work together, you are giving them the benefit and power of unity. The counteracting effect that teamwork brings is highly valuable to any organization, especially during difficult market times.

Encouraging teamwork in the workplace will also help members feel less isolated and give them a feeling of belonging. Employees will feel more engaged with the work that they are doing and hence, will work harder to compensate for the larger community to which they now belong.

“Teamwork allows people to fulfill the desire for belonging and to have an impact on the lives of others.”

The ultimate motivational leader knows that their role is truly to empower more leaders. Empowering people by instilling a co-creation and shared authority culture is the most effective way to enable an environment where people want to work towards the company’s success. They will want to do so, because they are personally vested in achieving the co-created vision and purpose of the collective.

For more information on how to expand on the principles of co-creation and shared authority at work, check out the Radical Purpose movement by clicking here.

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