For some great leadership advice, see “Leadership Lessons of the White House Fellows: Learn How to Inspire Others, Achieve Greatness, and Find Success in Any organisation“, by Charles P. Garcia.
He says, “Too often businesses assume that offering more money is the only way to motivate employees.
The reality is that employees value having strong leaders, who motivate them to do their best, just as much if not more.”
Here are a few tips derived from his first-hand discussions with some of the nation’s greatest leaders that apply to every entrepreneur as we recover from tough economic times:
- Energize your team. Instead of being the type of leader who sucks the energy away from others, resolve to be the kind of leader who strives to bring passion and positive energy to the workplace every day. Your employees have just helped you pull your company through one of the nation’s worst economic periods. It’s time they had a source of positive energy.
- There’s more to life than work. Great leaders have deep reserves of physical, spiritual, and emotional energy, and that energy is usually fuelled by a strong and supportive relationship with the people they love, regular exercise, a healthy lifestyle, and setting aside time for reflection.
- Put your people first. No organisation is better than the people who run it. The fact is that you are in the people business—the business of hiring, training, and managing people to deliver the product or service you provide. If the people are the engine of your success, to be a great leader you need to attend to your people with a laser-like focus.
- Act with integrity. In a time when news reports are filled with the stories of private and public leaders who’ve acted inappropriately and have gone against the best interests of their employees or constituents, showing your employees that you value integrity can help motivate them and create a sense of pride for your organisation.
- Be a great communicator. Leadership is influencing others, and this cannot be achieved without effective communication. If you’re struggling with communicating to your employees, first work on your ability to influence individuals by choosing words that are impactful to carry your message. Then you need to figure out how to communicate to a larger audience.
- Be a great listener. The most effective leaders are the ones who take the time to listen not just to their team members’ words but to the priceless hidden meaning beneath them. Remember that during good times and bad, sometimes your employees just need someone to talk to. Communicate to them that you are always waiting with open ears.
- Be a problem solver. Post a sign above your office door that reads, “Don’t Bring Me Problems. Bring Me Solutions.” Then set about the task of guiding each person on your team toward the goal of becoming a top-notch problem solver during this crucial period.
- Lead through experience and competence, not through title or position. Mentor your employees, encourage them, make partners out of them, and your organisation is sure to benefit. If you want to survive the tough economy, that’s exactly the kind of leadership motif you need for your organisation.
The fundamentals of leadership don’t change between good times and bad. But when money is in short supply, these principles can be the difference between success and failure. Now is the time to start motivating your employees by applying these principles, and your team will lead you through the hard times.
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