Leaders Create Motivation
Firm leaders report that their people are exhausted and becoming unmotivated. This has been my experience also in my coaching calls the last few months. While I’m a believer in self-motivation, I’m also aware of the leader responsibility to keep people energized. This was the Monday Message a couple of weeks ago, about how effective leaders use two different approaches, Push and Pull, to energize their people.
Push is easy. Why? Because you are used to it. You are comfortable with setting goals and expectations, monitoring progress and producing reports, all to secure successful outcomes. They are familiar because you were raised with them. This is the Push approach.
Instead of pushing people toward something, Pull draws people toward something—an aspiration, a desired outcome or a result that is worth the sacrifice.
Pull is just as easy to create as Push. It’s just that you are not used to it. You have to think differently.
Examples of Pull
There are many examples of leaders using the Pull approach. Here are three that you probably use already.
- Focus on their “future self.” Talk with your people about how you see them next year or in three years. Sometimes you have to let people borrow your vision of their future if they don’t have one of their own. If they do, be their advocate to achieving their vision.
- Reiterate confidence in them, especially in stressful times. When the project or season is in the “messy middle,” less experienced people need to hear from their leaders that everything will work out. It always does. That reassuring message helps to calm their anxiety and remain focused on their work.
- Catch people doing it right. Acknowledge and recognize what people do that you want to see again. Humans are wired to notice the exception—something isn’t right. So you are cued up to notice and correct mistakes. That’s okay, but with all the focus on catching mistakes, you miss catching what’s right. People do things right much of the time and you energize them when you notice and let them know.
Effective leaders use both Push and Pull. You just have include more Pull to balance the Push. For today, who comes to mind for whom you could stimulate an energizing Pull? Do it. Now. Before you forget. And get used to it.
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