Ruminations of a Taco-Obsessed Philly Native

The last time I was sitting in my office and wondering how I could motivate my team better, I realized that I lacked the inspiration to complete a new project. I didn’t feel that same level of drive or commitment to reach its conclusion. The truth is that I could not expect my employees to achieve more if I wasn’t doing the same. It is up to the leader to set an example and provide employees with enough resources to succeed. When leaders can’t find resources, they are honest, but they do the best they can. In this post, I discuss how we can invest more in employees to help them feel increased motivation (even when we’re expecting them to complete goals harder than they’ve ever received before as a member of our organization).

What HBR Says

As a business leader, I think that it’s important to use research to back up the insights that I share with readers. A new survey from the Harvard Business Review found that the top 3 qualities that 195 leaders in 15 countries thought were important were: having high ethical and moral standards, providing goals and objectives with loose guidance, and clearly communicating expectations. When you stop and think about it, these are something that leaders of every organization should have in their job description. However, once leaders get settled into their positions, they tend to “get away with” some things because they have a reputation that gives them a certain level of power. Their co-workers can accept some flaws because they’re generally happy with their performance as leaders.

Be a Company Leader

If you think about being a person with high moral and ethical standards, this is something that’s easy to believe you are. It’s harder to live up to because one major mistake could compromise a reputation that you’ve built over many years in the business world. I try to set higher goals for myself than I expect of my employees. Some of the things that help me do this are as follows:

 

  1. Have a vision that precedes any goal setting. If you write a set of goals for a project, they will not mean anything if they are not linked to a central purpose.

 

  1. Allow enough time for employees to understand the expectations that you have for their specific performance goals on a project. Even setting high expectations is not enough. Employees need to know what implementation will look like and how you will gauge their achievement.

 

  1. Provide opportunities for employees to make mistakes. If you’re starting out leading a project that is untrodden territory for your team, they will need time to find their way. They will need support as they try things that they think will work and then adopt new approaches when they don’t succeed.

 

  1. Don’t abandon employees as they work on their particular goals. It’s tempting to give your mental focus to upcoming projects, but the current ones you’re overseeing could suffer, especially when you consider the last stage of implementation of a project, if you don’t monitor their progress and offer guidance when you see weaknesses in performance.