It is a proven fact that the quality of the leader determines the results of the team. Your ability to deliver great results will flow from your capacity to inspire your team members to superlative performance.
Here are four simple, practical and unfailing leadership principles that I have successfully applied in my work over the years that I believe will be of immense help in accelerating your success too.
Develop A Worthy Vision
Every person I know or have ever met shares one common attribute… we want to invest our lives in something that truly matters. We want whatever time, money or effort we put into something to truly make a difference in our lives and in the lives of others.
In essence, we seek a worthy vision that inspires us to give of ourselves and be the best that we can be. Whether it is in a job, charitable activity or other human endeavour, an essential key to inspiring others is to first have a noble vision that makes it worthwhile to be a part of your team.
Such a vision is one that transcends the leader’s self-gratification and seeks to serve others in a way that enriches their lives. Whenever current or potential team members encounter such a vision, the work of inspiring them is half done, because such a vision carries within itself an energy that uplifts the human soul.
Align Your Vision With Their Dreams
Why should your vision, goal or objective matter to me?
That is a potent question that everyone in your team will ask at some point. The most effective answer comes from your willingness as the leader to do these three things.
a) Know Their Dreams: What matters to each of your team members as an individual? What are their personal hopes, aspirations and reasons for being a part of your team? You have to actively engage in the quality conversations that elicit the answers to those questions.
If you don’t find out what their dreams and goals are, you may very quickly find that there is a mismatch between your expectations and theirs, leading to conflict and underperformance.
b) Embrace Their Dreams: It often amazes me when I speak to supervisors, managers and executives who wonder that their team members are not delivering the results they want, when they have never really sought to find out what really makes their team members tick.
I remember a company a few years ago that took the time to understand the dreams and personal goals of their staff. The leadership team came to understand that the staff in that locality placed incredibly greater value on the educational success of their children than in personal pay increments and accordingly chose to embrace those dreams.
c) Foster Alignment: Following on from understanding and embracing their teams’ dreams, the leadership of that company initiated an educational scholarship programme for the children of their staff. Suffice it to say that performance in that company skyrocketed, thrusting that company into the leading organisation in its industry.
Similarly, how do you align your team members’ dreams with the fulfilment of your vision? When you creatively find and implement a way to bring such alignment, you will inspire results beyond your wildest imagination.
Consistently Articulate The Vision
One definition of inspire means to breathe in. Just as breathing is not a one-shot deal, inspiring your team is not a one-shot event.
It takes more than an annual awards nights or monthly recognition programmes to truly inspire your team to deliver exponential results. As the leader, it is your daily commitment to infusing your team members with belief and pride in the work that they are doing which will serve to motivate them to become better and achieve more.
You have to consistently share the vision, why it matters and how it serves them too. Find opportunities to applaud their positive contributions and create a culture of daily encouragement. As a wise leader once said, “the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine.”
Model The Right Values
Nothing dissipates trust in a leader quicker than a lack of authenticity. As you articulate the noble vision you want to accomplish, you also have the responsibility as leader to develop and cascade throughout your team the correct values by which you and they will achieve your results.
If you say that honesty is an important value to you and your organisation, the day you ask another colleague to lie on the phone for you [e.g. Tell him I am not here] is the day you erode your leadership capacity to inspire your colleague or team member.
Model the proper values properly and you earn your team’s respect and willingness to be inspired by you.
With the consistent application of these four proven principles, I am convinced that you will become an even more effectively leader, inspiring your team to attain uncommon heights of personal and team success, and for which I salute you in advance!