Inspiring leaders are dynamic people who can
flex their leadership style to match each person's needs. Often relationship builders, they are more interested in discovering that which is uniquely motivating for each employee encouraging them to reach their highest level of performance. Inspiring leaders care about the whole person, rather than the employee's role. What matters are people AND results.
A few days ago I was speaking with a client (I'll call him Jeff). Jeff is struggling with one of his managers, (I'll call him Steve). "I just don't know if Steve has what it takes to be a manager." Jeff went on to tell me that when he walked into Steve's department, the whole room seemed to light up - people seemed happier, more motivated, and they were more productive. Jeff asked me, "How can I get Steve to motivate his team like that?"
"What is it about you that is inspiring and motivating?" I ask. (I know the answer but I wanted Jeff to get there on his own.)
We went back and forth for a while until he told me a story about a time when he stepped in to help out sales one day. He was talking with a customer that had been saying, "No" to their product because the price was too high. Jeff said that he spent some time talking with the customer and in the end, he closed the sale. He went on to say that he asked the customer what changed his mind? The customer answered, "because you made me feel like what I want and need matters to you; that I matter".
Goose bump moment, "YES".
"Now" I said, "what do you do for your employees that results in highly motivated behaviors"? "They all know that who they are, what is important to them, their concerns, matter to me."
Motivating to get results begins with a relationship. It seems that this may be what Steve needs to understand and incorporate into his management style - focus not just on the results, but on the people. Jeff left our session excited and hopeful. He had a number of ideas on how to talk to Steve - to inspire him to be "more inspiring".
Management is complex and challenging. You need your eye on the prize, as well as down in the trenches. Figuring out how to achieve long-term goals, while supporting the activities of each day, and each person involved; fielding daily changes and issues from both your team, and from upper levels. Remember your best resource is your team, create relationships and a culture that inspires and motivates.
Light up the room when you walk in.