How to be a motivational leader

One of my clients came to me recently to ask how they could motivate their team better. My short answer…you can’t. You can’t ever make anyone do or be what you want them to. It doesn’t work like that. However, there are leaders who people describe as motivational; those leaders who teams adore and work well for. So what is it that they do differently?

What makes a great leader?

If you think about leaders you have worked with in the past, what would be their greatest quality? I imagine, from listening to others’ stories, that you might say, they cared about you – they valued your opinion, they sought to understand you and they acted with honesty and integrity.

I love this quote by Simon Sinek:

“Leadership is not about being in charge; it’s about taking care of those in your charge”

How can you be a motivational leader?

As I have already said, you can’t motivate others; only they can motivate themselves. In the same way that only you can motivate yourself. Therein lies the solution…in order to be a motivational leader, you must work on yourself first. One of the ways that people motivate themselves is by looking for a role model.

Here are 5 things that you can do to be the motivational leader you want to be:

  1. Seek to understand your team for who they are as individuals. There will be differences, from our strengths to our personalities, our needs and our perspectives. That’s what makes us great. Consider how you support your staff in terms of their growth requirements and work-life balance.
  2. Focus on what matters most: relationships. If you are able to nurture your relationships and encourage your team to do so then you will reap the benefits in terms of building strong relationships based on trust and integrity. This will boost morale within the team and the business.
  3. Work on yourself in terms of your own professional development, your skills and strengths and your confidence. Demonstrating your own commitment to growth will inspire others.
  4. Share the vision. If your team don’t know or understand what they are working towards then they won’t be inclined to work hard. Share your expectations, resources, skills and tools required for the journey.
  5. Be the leader you wish to be. This might mean having your own work-life in balance, admitting when you make a mistake, bringing your best self to work and acting in accordance with your values.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then you are a leader” – John Quincy Adams

Leave a comment