Do You Inspire Your Staff? Try it – You May Like It
My experience tells me that a very small percentage of company presidents, managers and supervisors truly inspire their staff. They might build solid teams, set clear expectations and reach most of their goals, but they fail to inspire their people to reach and become better.
But if you’re building effective teams and getting adequate results, does inspiration really matter that much?
The answer depends on what you want out of your organization. If you are satisfied with your current results and don’t mind replacing your best people every few years, I would put down this article and get back to managing your staff.
However, if you are interested in creating a remarkable culture that exceeds expectations, keep reading.
The importance of inspiration
In his latest book, “The 8th Habit–From Effectiveness to Greatness,” Stephen Covey points out that “Leadership is communicating to people their worth and potential so clearly that they come to see it in themselves.” In other words, he believes leadership is primarily about inspiring others to reach their full potential.
OK, so inspiration is an important part of leadership, but why is it such an essential component in creating an outstanding company?
There are three key reasons
First, if you are able to effectively inspire the most valuable members of your team, you will keep them from leaving. Because it is their nature to continuously look for ways to improve, they get bored with the status quo–no matter how satisfying it seems to everyone else. In addition, you will need these team members to assume leadership roles in the future as you grow. Promoting average employees to key leadership roles because your best employees have left eventually will lead to low morale and anemic growth.
Second, as you face difficult times–which every great company does–it will be your best employees that help you push through to the next level. You will need their enthusiasm and brainpower when trying to determine the best way to deal with difficult challenges. These people will not put in the extra hours for a leadership team that isn’t helping them to develop new skills and improve. However, they will do whatever it takes for those leaders who are inspiring them to reach their full potential.
Third, you need these people to help your organization think “outside of the box.” The truth is that remarkable companies need remarkable solutions in today’s ultra-competitive marketplace. These answers are seldom found in the operations manual. They require a higher level of dedicated thinking, the kind of dedication you get from a talented employee who feels that your leadership is exactly what he/she needs to excel. Chances are slim you will get this effort from employees who just finished updating their resumes.
How do you inspire your team?
How do you inspire your team? It’s not easy, but through disciplined effort, most leaders can learn to inspire their staff. The best way to get started is to focus on the following simple steps:
— Clearly communicate your company’s vision to your team every single day. Most people will put in the extra effort if they know where they are going.
— Identify the potential leaders on your team and focus your efforts on these individuals. I am not suggesting that you ignore the rest of your staff, but, I am recommending that you dedicate the majority of your time to those individuals who will help take your organization to the next level.
— Find out what these key employees want. That is, help them to identify their own vision. Once you know what it is, provide them with opportunities to develop the skills necessary to realize their vision.
In today’s work environment, most leaders feel overwhelmed. The need to produce immediate results forces them–or us, since I am right there with you–to focus on the now, instead of considering the future.
My challenge to you is to be clear about where you are going and remember that, every time you inspire a member of your staff, you likely have improved productivity, increased effort and helped to build the future of your remarkable company.