Motivating the Team

As practicing leaders, many of us try to jump straight into team motivation, not recognizing the importance of laying the proper groundwork.  So first, a quick summary of previous Leadership Tips: Becoming a Leader, Defining Your Vision and Communicating the Vision. All organizations are led by someone.  It is not always the person "in charge" who is leading.  The leader is anyone who influences the direction of the individuals that make up the team.  Some actually lead the organization in an unproductive direction.

Many books and articles have been written about motivating a team.  Classes are taught about this subject and you can even earn a degree in aligning a team with a common goal.  The next several columns in this newsletter will focus on a variety of methods to use to accomplish group motivation.

Topics will include:

Listening to Individual Team Members

This is a skill that is more difficult than most think.  It is also more powerful than most can imagine.  Listening with empathy is listening with the intention to see things from that person's point of view.  It is typically not possible to change someone's motivation until you know where they are coming from.

Identifying Leaders (and Non-Leaders)

Who are the leaders in your organization?  How do you know?  It is often difficult to tell who has natural leadership skills, who has skills that can be developed and who needs to stay away from leadership positions.  There are some great tools to help sort through it all.

Momentum (Building It and Maintaining It)

Recognizing positive momentum in your organization is an opportunity that is easily missed.  Momentum in the wrong direction can cause tremendous harm if you don't catch it early.

Building Leadership Skills

Being a leader takes practice.  I have been guilty of thinking I am a good leader and therefore don't need to improve.  I have also been guilty of thinking that my team has had adequate leadership education because they've had more than most.  How do you continue to improve these important skills?

Delegating, Follow-up and Tracking Progress

The ability to effectively delegate is harder than it sounds.  That is why so many of us continue to do it ourselves.  We will cover laying the groundwork for proper delegation, scheduling a follow-up method (not micro-management), and proven methods to keep up with it all.

Capitalizing on the Talents, Skills and Goals of Many (Synergize)

Vanilla Ice said, "Stop, Collaborate and Listen." It is this wisdom that encourages us to find ways to collect input, knowledge and motivation from all team members.  When this is done well, unbelievable goals can be accomplished.

Developing your Proactive Mentality

Before Leadership Insights had a name, our first article was titled "First - Become a Leader." That's easy to do for a short time but it is hard to do over a long period of time.  How can you maintain that proactive mentality and how can you get it back when it gets "soft?"


Your task is to evaluate your own knowledge and recent performance in each of the above areas.  As the lessons come, you will see how they begin to build on one another.  If you have an expertise or elevated interest in any of these areas - Please Share.