You want your people to work better and be more productive. But fear and the lure of money can only do so much. For real change to occur, the people who need to change must want to change as well. As the old adage goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. The question is, how are you as a leader going to make them desire change?
Now, this may seem like a tall order. And since you’re just human, there’s admittedly a limit to what you can accomplish. However, you can make it easier for those around you to make positive changes within and outside themselves without being dictatorial and overbearing. Here are some ideas:
Express what they can get out of it
The operative word here is they.
Most people would ask the question, “what’s in this for me?” You can drill the people around you time and time again about collective goals and the company vision, but at the end of the day, you’d still have a majority of people who are working for a paycheck, who need to feed their families, and worry about work-life balance. It’s great if you have people who can look beyond their cubicles and white-washed fences. But, I’ll take a chance and assume that most people would want to think about themselves first.
This isn’t a mere pandering to a person’s selfish desires. No organization will be able live for the sake of the organization. Any organization is about people – your customers, your clients, your volunteers, and your employees. Prioritize the wellbeing of your people, and they’ll be more receptive to the changes you want to promote.
Match vision with strengths
For leaders to succeed, they need to have a vision. And not just any vision, it should be a vision compelling enough to draw people in and make them want to participate. Early on, emphasize how each of them is important for the organization to reach its goals. Give your people tasks that are worthwhile to do and that match their abilities. Know their strengths and use these strengths to reach your vision. Give each person a sense of purpose when it comes to accomplishing organizational goals.
Lead and let go
Don’t just stop at mere talk. Take action. Plan, organize, delegate, listen, and do your work. Don’t attempt to do everything yourself just because you’re the leader. Avoid micromanaging, as this puts pressure on both you and your members. But don’t expect others to do everything either just because you’re the leader. It’s been said time and time again that leaders should lead by example, and this has much wisdom behind it. Leading by example shows integrity, character, and discipline. This is the kind of leader that others would be proud to have on their team. Strike a balance between giving guidance and giving your members leeway to perform.
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