Motivating people can all be done through positive reinforcement.
We have to understand the time commitments and the motivation of all, but how can we get driven individuals to spare 30 minutes to pay attention to you and really soak in what you say? Is it worth it? To some, no. Most people join an organization or a team knowing they have to do just anything, but how can we guide them to join an organization or a team and do something that not only we want them to do but they themselves want to do? We say we are a team – a family even – but if you pay attention to your verbiage and tone, it may certainly not mean that at all even though deep down you do. Maybe it was a “Get this done or we won’t care about you.” The better way is “We need to support each other as a team, and that means everyone.” You will want to contribute and do it for not only for yourself but also for everyone. One of my professors at Boston University taught me, “It isn’t about what you say but it’s all about what they hear.” As a leader, business professional, and even as a person, you can change any outcome with your storytelling.
Many aspiring young leaders, such as myself, fall into the trap of leading people as if they need to follow the footsteps of their successful older sibling by showing an example and paving the way. You are seeing them as what they could be, not what they are. “Look at your older sister!” Consider that maybe some people simply do not care what we are doing. We are all still children deep inside, easily moved and swayed by cajoling words. Make them fall in love with your story and work for a united cause. How can they pave their own roads while still following your direction?
Being in a startup-minded business fraternity, I have fallen into the trap of working so hard that I forgot to see what others truly think. As a leader, I learned that it all starts with the people.
We need to revisit our roots and see what we stand for: Everything we say and do must reflect our brand, story, values, and vision. What did you do when your team has lost its way but found itself back on track? Of if you have lost your way, what are you planning to do?