motivational leadership example

Motivational Leadership by Example

Would you consider yourself a leader, manager, or both?  In most cases, managers consider themselves leaders, but do you think your team members would agree with you?  Pat Owings, the Co-Founder of Inbound Marketing Agents, advises managers to challenge their current perspective on leadership skills by asking themselves, “If you asked your team to take the hill, would they because it is the right thing to do or because you are the boss and they want to keep their job?” The key to being a successful leader is leading by example and motivating your employees at the same time, inspiring them to follow.  As members of varying workforces, we regularly hear advice like this but how many of us actually practice executing this statement?  There is often a missing link between understanding management theories and putting those theories in action.

The key to being a successful leader is leading by example and motivating your employees at the same time, inspiring them to follow.

The Significance of Employee Motivation

Every leader faces the challenge of keeping staff members motivated and engaged.  Business owners are often pursuing new business, nurturing business problems, and creating resolutions for problems occurring within the organization.  With all of the logistics of tending to your business, we forget to recognize the positive performances of our team members.  As the owner or manager of a business, it is your job to address the areas where your team has fallen short.  However, it is also your job as the leader to motivate and promote a positive environment for your employees.  When you only focus on the areas where your team has failed, it creates a negative environment.  On the contrary, it is important to accept failures in order to learn something valuable from them.

Do your Employees Get Face Time?

As Alphonse de Lamartine, a French writer, poet, and politician in the 1800’s once wrote, “Experience is the only prophecy of wise men.”  Typically, those in management positions have sound professional insight and life experiences, which others can relate to.  Employees are always given the opportunity to learn through personal research, but it is important to share real life experiences with them so they will confide in you.  Offering personal life experiences to your employees not only enlightens them, but also creates an open environment for them to understand you as an individual.  In addition to promoting an open environment, this improves retention and develops your staff members into leaders.

As the owner or manager of a business, it is your job to address the areas where your team has fallen short.  However, it is also your job as the leader to motivate and promote a positive environment for your employees.

It is important to further stress the significance of embracing face time with your employees.  Employees are often looking for guidance in their own lives and careers.  This is when your staff members should be put before your own personal needs, as you transition into a mentor.  Employees with entry-level positions are often working for your organization to gain real world experience while determining if this job is something they would like to make into a career.  If your employees decide to pursue other jobs, it is crucial that you support their decision.  The foundation of your work environment should be built on respect, beginning with the onboarding process all the way through the resignation process.  Once again, as a mentor and leader, you should focus on providing motivation along the way.

Profess the accomplishments of your staff

The most commonly overlooked aspect of motivating your employees is providing them with awards or small praises.  When your employees are successful and their performance is effective, do not overly praise them, rather acknowledge their good performance and make their accomplishments about them.  Refrain from making their accomplishments about you as this undermines the honor.

There is a difference between simply being a leader of a team and being a motivator of a team.  Leaders who are not role models for their employees are not completely fulfilling their jobs as leaders.  Set an example for your employees so they strive for excellence within themselves and within your organization.  Your staff and organization will succeed if you lead them with a positive example.


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Italia D. Woodson is recognized for upbeat demeanor, proactive initiative, and attention to detail. Italia has earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business and Marketing from The University of Tampa and she is also former student of Chiang Mai University in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She has proven skills in a range of areas, including project and financial management, marketing, business development, public relations, and concept creation. Italia is adept at balancing resources, creating lasting relationships, and a progression of leadership roles with increasing responsibilities.

  • Ben Simonton

    Great subject Italia.

    “The consummate leader cultivates the moral law and strictly adheres to its methods and discipline. The moral law causes people to be in complete accord with their ruler so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger.”
    Sun Tzu 544-496 BC The Art Of War

    Leaders cannot motivate people, only demotivate them. What motivates us all is the simultaneous existence of autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Edward Deci and Richard Ryan—2005—Self-determination-theory-and-work-motivation-.pdf#!

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