One of the precepts of motivational leadership is this; respect is earnt, and can never, and should never, be demanded. It is fair to say that we all judge leaders more by what they do than by what they say. In commerce, industry and business, managers who supervise others are first are foremost salespeople. They have to sell their new ideas and work practices to both their managers, and their subordinates. Successful managers understand the power of setting a good example.
They realize that they are being watched as they carry out their day-to-day tasks and that their own example will carry much greater influence and of course better results than verbal advice, lecturing or any other communication.
"There is real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment."
Lamentably, there are some managers who feel that they have reached a level where they are no longer subject to the same standards that they expect, and often demand, from their subordinates. They almost believe that it is their job to tell other people what to do, regardless of whether they do it themselves or not. The great tragedy is that, as we all know, if a person does not believe in something strongly enough to practice it themselves, then telling others to rarely does any good at all.
We are all aware that the strengths and weaknesses in any department or organization can often mirror those who run it. If you, as a manager, have difficulty getting the people who work for you to measure up to the standards upon which you insist upon, how about starting by taking a look at yourself. Do you measure up to your own standards? You practice what you preach?
What follows is a list of the 10 principles of motivational leadership.
Motivational Leadership Principle #1 - Set SMART Goals
Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Accurate, Realistic, and Timed) goals and really get stuck in! People are always inspired when they work for a manager who has a purpose. As we discussed in setting goals at work, goals must be achievable, but as a management style it can be very motivating when managers set higher goals. There will always be the risk that you might not achieve the goals you set for yourself and your team, but this does not really matter. It only matters in the case of continual failure, as this will lead to a loss of credibility and will almost certainly affect peoples belief that they can achieve future goals.
Motivational Leadership Principle #2 - Set An Example
Acknowledge that over time, subordinates tend to become carbon copies of their leader. People really do look to their superiors for guidance. You might well have noticed already how in so many organizations this imitation, either conscious or unconscious, not only filters through to work practices, but also to style of clothes and appearance, the way people communicate with each other, the newspapers they read, their beliefs, the list goes on...
So what kind of people do you want working for you? What results are you hoping for? Remember, it all starts with one person...you!
Motivational Leadership Principle #3 - Strive For Constant Improvement
To be a motivational leader, you must be a progressive thinker. Always ask yourself the following question; "How can I/we do this better?" Make sure that you never become complacent, and never say to yourself; "I am doing my best." In addition, never allow your subordinated to believe that they are doing their best. As we all know, we can always do better.
In order to become a progressive thinker, you must always be looking to the future. When analyzing your performance, ask yourself the following question; "Am I worth more today than I was yesterday, or last week, or last month, or even last year?" For someone who is practicing the art of progressive thinking, every day is an opportunity to gain new experience and new knowledge with the single-minded purpose of being a better person by the end of the day.
Motivational Leadership Principle #4 - Allow Yourself Time To Think
It really is startling and rather unfortunate that so many leaders do not give themselves time to think, and of those that do, it is not so much allowing themselves time to think as snatching it, often whilst on the move. Spend some time daily in uninterrupted thought. As you are no doubt aware, we have been given an incredible asset in the form of a brain with virtually limitless capacity, yet we often suppress its tremendous power.
Try to put aside half an hour a day purely for thinking and I guarantee you will be staggered by the results. I have found some of my most productive days have been spent well away from the office, my colleagues and most importantly the telephone! You will also find that your general motivation will also increase after some uninterrupted thinking time.
Give yourself time for a decent thinking session and you can organize plans, set goals, solve problems, and put areas of concern into perspective. Try this now! Maybe a good place to start is to work on your personal mission statement.
Motivational Leadership Principle #5 - Lead Without Pushing
As we have already mentioned, the most effective leadership is by example, and not by decree. The motivational leader will lead, but not necessarily push, show but not necessarily tell.
General Eisenhower used a piece of string to demonstrate this concept. He laid it on the floor, and showed that by pushing the string he go nowhere, yet by pulling, the string would follow him anywhere he wished it to go.
Ask yourself this one question continually; "Am I leading by example?"
Motivational Leadership Principle #6 - Judge By Results
As you should now expect, you are judged by your results, in the same way, evaluate others using this precept.
Motivational Leadership Principle #7 - Build Confidence
Develop a limitless confidence in yourself and your ability. This supreme confidence will almost certainly inspire others, and this is the motivational leadership style that can be so effective: raise other people's performance to levels they never believed they were capable of.
Remember that; ability is something that we acquire as a result of a strong desire.
Motivational Leadership Principle #8 - Anticipate Criticism
Unfortunately, as a person becomes increasingly successful it is only a matter of time until they get criticized. Therefore if you are going to be a great leader expect to receive criticism, which nearly always emanates from that most vile of all the human feelings - jealousy!
Motivational Leadership Principle #9 - Plan For The Future
Plan on doing something different tomorrow. If every day you can do something different from what you did yesterday, each time doing that little bit better, you will become an inspirational leader!
Motivational Leadership Principle #10 - Think Like A Winner
When you are confronted with either a positive or negative situation, try to imagine how the most successful person you know would think and act in the situation! Using this simple thought process has made a very real difference to my life.