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Motivation is something external to the person. It’s done to them. And it’s too difficult a job for you as a leader to constantly motivate your people. Inspire them instead. It’s much easier and enjoyable for you and more energizing for your people.
How to inspire instead of motivate? Here are the top 3 steps to inspire:
- Find out what are their talents and strengths
- Discover their highest values
- Help them to achieve their aspirations – their STARs
Talents and Strengths
The magic is knowing your people’s talents – knowing what they are great at and helping them to apply the things they love doing. This makes them enjoy what they do and feel happy about it. When people know and are confident about their key talents and apply them in what they do and want to achieve, it enhances their success opportunity extraordinarily. It brings confidence, impact and focus to deliver with excellence.
Why would you as a leader in business want to spend time and effort to motivate someone to do things that they are not inspired about and will not feel passionate about doing? Instead give them the opportunity to do the job they are excited and inspired about. It takes less effort for you to place people in roles that they are inspired and talented to contribute and excel, rather than to keep motivating people to do a job they dislike in a culture they can not shine in.
If you are clear on what are your values and choose your job, role, relationships in accordance to them, you generate energy.
If among my strong values are independence and creativity, but I choose the job where I have to strictly follow the rules, like risk manager or underwriter, then I will not be happy about the content of my role as I will constantly have to do something that does not naturally resonate with my core being. The set of values that each individual has is unique to them.
Highest value – you are spontaneously inspired to do the job that resonates to your highest value. You get up and do it, You do not need a motivation to do it. Napoleon Hill called it, chief aim. It is a burning desire to fulfil. Doing the job that fulfils your highest value is one of the secrets to master your life. It’s intrinsic.
Lowest value – you need a motivation to do the job that is in congruence with your lowest values. You find it difficult and de-energizing. You do not enjoy doing a job that relates to your lowest values. Therefore you need an external stimulus to motivate you to complete that job.
It is more difficult than doing the job that you are naturally inspired by . And for leaders it takes much more effort, time and energy to motivate people to do the job that they do not feel naturally inspired to do. It is much more rewarding to inspire people to excel in their jobs that they enjoy doing and that are contributing to their highest values.
Inspiration is calling from within, building on intrinsic values and talents. Motivation is pushing from outside to do something that your person does not enjoy.
Help to reach their STARs
Nobody goes to work for the sake of the company. People go to work to fulfil their highest values, aspirations, to reach their stars – whatever stars mean for each and every individual. If they see how their job, vision, mission of company helps to fulfil their highest value, they are inspired to contribute and to be effective to deliver. If not – they have low productivity and need to be constantly motivated. If their job fulfils their highest value, they can not wait to get to work each and every day and add value to the company. They feel ownership, responsibility, commitment. They are engaged and constantly improve their customer service to deliver upon their personal excellence.
Your wisdom as a leader is to place people in the right role that will help them to reach their stars and add massive value to the company. The role that they feel inspired about, so you do not need to put an extra effort to motivate them. Instead – inspire your people by giving them projects and opportunities that play to their strengths , talents and values.
Your wisdom is to fill your day with high priority things where you add value. If you do not fill up your day with high priority actions that inspire you, it will be automatically filled with low value distractions projected by other people that are low according to their values.
Ask yourself on a daily basis what the highest priority actions I can do today that generates most income, inspiration etc. Rest – delegate to somebody else. How do you live an inspired life if you keep doing desperate things? There is always somebody that matches the job you need to delegate. Make sure its congruent with their values, so you do not need to micromanage and motivate them. Inspire them instead!
Your brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room, as per Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. It is about your behaviour – how you treat other people, what you say, how congruent it is to your personal values.
In companies where leaders highly value customer relationships and service as well as their people inspiration and development, leaders develop their leadership brand to better engage with their people and empower them to WOW the customer.
Personal brand development is more important
Personal brand has become more important than company and corporate brand development. Why? Because people that work in a company are building a company brand by how they serve customers, how they communicate and deliver or exceed the expectations of customers and shareholders. Customers trust people more than companies and they build relationships with people, rather than with companies.
If you have an issue with a product or service that you recently bought, whom do you call? The company? No, you call the person who can help you solve the issue. And who is answering the phone? The company? No – the person. The way this customer service person will treat you and help to solve your issue, you will make an assumption about the company brand experience and will develop your judgement about that particular company.
Great leaders inspire their people to serve the customer with excellence
I have been researching what takes it from a good to a great leadership, and here is what I have discovered: Leaders who develop their personal brand are much more impactful to inspire their people and teams to WOW the customer. They are very clear on what is their message, what is their purpose and role and what they want to achieve to exceed.
Employees need clarity from their leader and vision to follow. Personal brand development makes people more impactful and successful in their roles by having better clarity – what are their strengths and talents, how they can best add value and gain personal satisfaction in adding the value to customers, their company, their teams. Therefore, current workshops and coaching sessions for employees and leaders focus on how to develop their personal brand and to become an integral part of Talent or leadership development. .
Personal brand development is about clarity and adding value
I encourage people to build their personal brand to be able to better serve customers. Developing personal brand means having clarity on what value you are adding to the people around you, to your customers – in the way how you treat them and help them with solutions. Do you deliver a solution or service that exceeds expectations? People and companies with strong brands never start out with the intent to build a great brand for themselves. They build it to better serve others.
How do you help your experts to differentiate themselves in the market?, is one of the questions for you to ask to develop your company business success. For your employees to have clarity on how do they add value – by providing innovative customer solutions, by being visible, accessible and reachable for your customers, by managing the claims in the way that adds value for customer business, by developing innovative solutions and products that improve life for your customers.
When people build their personal brand, their confidence increases tremendously. Their impact in the team and market increases. They have better job satisfaction and engagement. They are much happier with what they do and how they do it. It is a benefit for employees, for customers and for the company.
The journey of personal brand development allows people to not just better serve customers, but also be more clear on their career aspirations – how do they want to progress in their careers based on their passion, talents, strengths, values – to choose the career that is most congruent for them.
We all know the saying that “people join a company, but leave the leader”. Unfortunately not many companies help their team leaders develop their personal brand to better succeed in people engagement and customer service. In the best companies, they do. That is one of the approaches that the best companies to work for are taking to develop their people, leaders and customer service.
Based on a survey conducted by Glenn Llopis organization in USA, less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently at work – each and every day. Why? It can be extremely challenging and it requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, action and accountability. Because when you develop your personal brand and commit to it, you will live your personal excellence every day. That is very rewarding, but also challenging.
I believe that personal brand is not so much about self-promotion, but it is rather a commitment to advance yourself by differentiating the way how you are serving others and adding value to others lives. I wish there were more companies in the market who do so.
We all have a dream when we join a company or accept a new role. As employees we want to contribute to achieve the company’s success, perform with excellence, feel recognized, develop our capabilities and our careers. We want to reach the stars, whatever the stars mean for each of us; and for each of us it is different.
How do we, as leaders, inspire our people to achieve their dream, to reach their stars and to contribute to the company’s performance and strategy execution? – it is a million dollar question. If we were all doing this with excellence – our companies would constantly achieve top results in the market.
I have developed and successfully implemented for businesses the STAR model to better connect with peoples’ aspirations and for leaders to better understand how to inspire their people. The STAR model is very simple and easy to apply, and very impactful. When you connect to peoples’ hearts, minds and aspirations, you can radiate an inspiration from them with true passion.
Here is a short summary of the STAR model and questions to ask in each stage:
S – Start. Why did they join the company. What are their aspirations?
T – Target. What are they aiming to achieve? How can we channel it? Do we have the right resources to achieve the strategy?
A – Action. What should they do to achieve the goal? What appeals most to them? How can we be supportive?
R – Results. How are they progressing? How are they achieving the results? What else is needed for their inspiration, development and retention?
Keep connecting with your people and inspiring them to reach for STARs!