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A Game-Changing Ability Every Leader Should Have

— October 29, 2019

It is important to acknowledge team engineering principles before trying to inspire your workers. A good leader avoids toxic people and keeps the level of natural motivation.

Any leader must possess a certain set of qualities for his or her company to be successful for years to come. Of course, intelligence and ambition are helpful. As are having a broad vision, being innovative, thinking critically and being able to see prospects from different angles. 

However, perhaps even more important than having various interpersonal and professional qualities, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy environment within your team, and reasonably delegate responsibilities while keeping them productive and motivated. If you want your team to perform effectively and produce superior results, you have to cultivate satisfaction and motivation among every member of your team. 

The ability to motivate team members is a key ability of every leader. 

It is a key element of general success as well. Motivation is a complex task that has many components and various approaches. It is important to acknowledge a few myths to understand how it works in practice.

Myth number one. Motivation is a personal task of every employee.

Motivation is a crucial quality for many people. If there are five productive and full of energy employees and two unproductive, who express their position actively to the public, the general productivity will suffer from those two people. Before trying to prepare a speech that must sound convincing and encouraging, try to look closer to every team member and find those who come to work mechanically, with not a single sparkle in eyes. These team members may unintentionally demotivate all the others. If a hard worker notices a person who watches YouTube in the background, it may have a stronger effect than your speech and negate its positive effect for a while. 

The first step of every productive leader is to find those toxic people on the team and take measures. Make sure every team member is a part of a group that has the same level of motivation. The latest discovery of neuroscientists states that our brains will not thrive at their full capacity unless we are a part of a healthy group. Before trying to motivate your team, you have to make sure that you, as a leader, have engineered it wisely. There are toxic people who spread negativity, and it is contagious. 

Myth number two. Motivation means inspiration.

If you think that motivation is a complex notion that connects money, commendation, results, bonuses, the atmosphere in the office, you are correct. If you dive deeper and try to find out the essence, you will see that motivation is a drive to go and seek pleasure and avoid pain. Every human being is hardwired to seek pleasure. It is our nature that is hard to confront. Another powerful instinct that leads us every day is avoiding pain. These are the two most effective essences for motivation that are applicable to anyone. These are key factors or triggers that define success. Keeping this in mind will help you to define pleasure and pain for your team and contribute it to the everyday duties of your employees.

For example, there are two components:

  • Ambition
  • Accountability

Assume there is an employee, Jack, who can do anything and even more. You can rely on such an employee by telling him “I need this task to be done by tomorrow” and he flies away driven by the ocean of possibilities he already sees. And, there is no reason for how he comes to the solution. Either he will use customwriting reliable service where there are so many people ready to do his task or he will do it on his own. His trigger is his own ambition. And, for such employees, it is important to have everything done by the due date because this is the way to fulfill ambitions, which means pleasure.

Another example is a person, Jim, who keeps in mind everything that can go wrong. Jim has the power of noticing. Such an employee is a protector of a company because he will do anything to protect a task or a project. Protecting it from any threats means avoiding pain. Accountability is a perfect motivation for such a person and great support for you as a leader. 

Most people tend to have both of these qualities, but one of them is always the dominant one. It is a successful team engineering principle that defines the success of the company.

Group of people huddling; image by Perry Grone, via
Group of people huddling; image by Perry Grone, via

Myth number three. It is necessary to motivate your employees.

The statement is wrong. Your employees are already motivated. They have studied long enough to get that job, they have work experience, projects, they come to you because they have a desire to work. The correct question to ask is how do you unleash it. 

In other words, give people an opportunity to work hard and experience professional realization. 

Have you ever thought that every test, questionnaire, or training on motivation could extremely demotivate your employees? If you go to a person and say “Hello, Jack, today is an obligatory training for everyone on motivation” and his normal answer would be “I don’t have time for this, I have plenty of work to do” it means that your team is doing great, but you are making a big mistake. What leaders usually say with the unnecessary training is: “Hello, Jack. I see that you are working hard, but I don’t believe you. Go to the motivation class as everyone else did.” As a result, Jack could lose his interest in the company and find another job, and this is not what you’ve aimed for.

“A good leader always remembers two initial triggers of every worker: seek pleasure and avoid pain” – explains Otis Williams, an HR Manager. A good leader should always keep this in mind when setting tasks to others. For example, for pleasure seekers, the request would sound like this “Hello Jack, here is an idea. Why don’t you go and bring your best self and turn this idea into a project?” In a few days, you will see the results. If you appeal to Jim, who is a sensitive person, and say the same thing, he will get frustrated. What you should say is “Hello, Jim, you are the most reliable person on the team. Here is a great project that Jack came up with. What can go wrong with it?” In a few days, Jim will do his best to find the weak sides of the project and improve them.

Bottom line

It is important to acknowledge team engineering principles before trying to inspire your workers. A good leader avoids toxic people and keeps the level of natural motivation. A good leader knows that there are two triggers that lead employees – accountability and ambition. It is important to keep harmony between both of them. And, the most important advice does not try to motivate already motivated employees. The best you can do for your team is to give them interesting tasks and rely on their talents. 

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