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How can leaders inspire and motivate their team?

January 14, 2016

Whilst charisma and knowledge can help leaders make an impact on those around them, to garner true respect and get the best out of people, a leader must be able to motivate and inspire. There is a great difference between leadership and management, and understanding this difference is the key to finding success as a leader.

It is a manager’s job to ensure everything within their remit is running smoothly and at an acceptable capacity. In many respects they view their organisation as a machine that needs to be maintained.

Leadership on the other hand focuses on the people behind these functions, leading them to bigger and better things and inspiring them to work not because they have to, but because they want to. This approach is mutually beneficial as it inspires greater engagement and loyalty from workers, whilst also ensuring productivity remains high.

Leadership is an important skill for all entrepreneurs to master. Leading a team and motivating others to perform requires mastering some traits and behavioural habits of world-renowned leaders, some of them are as listed here:

  1. Create the right environment

Some managers believe that their rank instantly grants them power to rule, and as such they distance themselves from their team and the work at hand. A real leader however, focuses on creating an open, welcoming environment where everyone is treated equally. This allows everyone to feel comfortable enough to share ideas and collaborate, which leads to better results and a more enthusiastic work force.

  1. Build Confidence

In a crisis, it is the leader than people turn to for support and guidance. Great leaders know that how they react will set the tone and impact the confidence of those around them which is why they know to stay calm and take positive action.

See: 7 Crucial Tips to Help You Become Better Managers

  1. Empower Others

Be it taking a step back on certain projects, or by keeping workers ‘clued in’ on new developments within the business, empowering others is the sign of a great leader. As well as helping individuals feel valued with the company, empowering others gives them to opportunity to test and develop new skills for the future.

  1. Listen

To inspire others, a leader needs to be able to understand them. Listening is vital as it ensures a leader is fully aware of their teams’ individual goals and wishes as well as their pressures and stresses. This allows the leader to make positive changes that benefit their team.

Leadership isn’t about being domineering or tough on people. It’s about having high expectations and helping people meet them. It’s about making tough decisions and having the courage to take risks. It’s about seeking opportunities for change, building enthusiasm for change efforts, and being an agent of change.

Motivation is an equally important responsibility of management. It translates directly into productivity and team effectiveness. People working together with energy and enthusiasm are far more effective and productive than a group lacking that spark because of job dissatisfaction or boredom. As a manager, you play a big role in building team motivation.

Also read: Drawing Inspiration from the Women Leaders in Tech

Image credit: freedigitalphotos.net

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