Motivate your staff? Or inspire them? Can it be both, at different times answering to different needs? We are told we can’t motivate anyone, we can only set conditions that appeal to what they prefer to be doing, and they’ll motivate themselves. Well, that’s good for a start, but I do think we need to progress beyond that sort of puerile thinking and get people to think about continuous learning and growth. Granted, it’s pretty difficult to do that given the fact that people have been dumbed down for so long, but does that mean we give up?
Right, so first we set conditions so people motivate themselves, since we can’t motivate them. As a leader, that means we allocate resources in order to design ergonomic workspaces, logical and smooth work flow processes, ensure that bottle necks are continuously identified and dealt with, and so forth. What’s the next step? You got it – inspire them, of course! Then, come to think of it, ought we not to be people who inspire others just by being here? Then again, how many people can be continuously inspired by us? We have feet of clay, too, don’t we? We stumble and fall ourselves, do we not? Well, of course, it’s not whether we have feet of clay or not, because we all do, it’s how we respond to situations and how we pick ourselves up and carry on each time a fall happens. Plus ask for forgiveness, make restitution and move on!
I really think we ought to either motivate, inspire or do whatever because we are responding to the needs of those around us. When we think less of ourselves and more about what we can be to help others, our quality of leadership takes off to the nth degree. So, let’s stop splitting hairs and focus on doing our part for others. It’s good business sense!